The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour that almost all workers are entitled to, November's budget has revealed an increase in these rates which will take effect from 1 April 2018.
The new minimum wages will be as follows:
Age Range / Minimum hourly rate
- Aged 25 and Over / £7.83
- Aged 21-24 / £7.38
- Aged 18-20 / £5.90
- Under 18 / £4.20
These new limits are legally binding and if you believe you are not being paid the appropriate minimum wage you should liaise with your employer in the first instance, making reference to the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. The HMRC can also investigate complaints against an employer where the national minimum or national living wage is not being adhered to.
Note: The above may not apply if you are working in agriculture or horticulture. Workers in either of these occupations should seek further advice if they are not sure of their wage entitlement.
Furthermore, you do not qualify for either rate if you are; self-employed, a voluntary worker, company directors or family members who live in the home of the employer and do household chores.
Under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (NMWA 1998) a worker has the statutory right to be paid at a rate not less than the National Minimum or Living Wage, by their employer.
'The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers under the age of 25 are entitled to by law.'
'The government's National Living Wage (NLW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers aged 25 and over are entitled to by law.'
These rates are dependent upon a worker's age or whether they are an apprentice.
An employer has a duty to keep records which show that works have been remunerated at a rate which is at least equal to the national minimum/living wage.
If an employer fails to pay their employee at the appropriate rate of national minimum or living wage they will be required by law to remunerate the employee for any shortfall in the wages they have received that are less than the minimum rate of pay.
If you believe that you may be paid less than the National Minimum Wage then it is best to contact ACAS as soon as possible. Each Call is followed up by HMRC. For more information on how Clapham & Collinge Employment solicitors can help you with wage disputes as well as any other matters that may arise in the course of your employment please call 01603 693500.
If you are an employer and have concerns about the minimum wage, or wish to speak to our Business Employment solicitors please call 01603 693500 or email us using the 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham offices.