National Minimum wage. Is it really that time again?

2020/21 Changes To National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates from April 1st, 2021. 


What is the minimum wage?

It is a legal requirement for you, as an employer, to pay the minimum amount. This is worked out on average for the hours your employees have worked. This is referred to as ‘The national living wage’ if your employee is 25 or over.  This is also referred to as ‘The national minimum wage’ if your employee is under 25. 





Current rates Vs. new rates

When minimum wage increases are paid

There are times when employees or workers will be entitled to a higher minimum wage rate, for example:

  • if the government increases the rates (usually in April each year)
  • if an employee or worker turns 18, 21 or 25
  • if an apprentice turns 19 or finishes the first year of their current apprenticeship

The higher rate starts to apply from the next ‘pay reference period’ after the increase. This means someone’s pay might not go up straight away.

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 25 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under

From 1 April 2021, the National Living Wage will apply if you’re aged 23 and over.

When do you need to pay the apprentice rate?

You should pay the apprentice rate if your employee is an apprentice under 19 OR if they are 19 or over and in the first year of their current apprenticeship agreement.
If your employee is over 19 and has completed their first year in their apprenticeship, you need to start playing the national minimum wage for their age.


To calculate who gets what and when, use this calculator