The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid. The current NMW rates rose from the beginning of this month so employers must increase their rates of pay where applicable.
There are different levels of NMW, depending on a person’s age and whether they are an apprentice. The current rates (from 1 October 2011) are:-
£6.08 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
£4.98 - the 18-20 rate
£3.68 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
£2.60 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
Most workers in the UK over school leaving age are legally entitled to be paid at least the NMW and all employers have to pay it to you if you are entitled to it. It makes no difference:
Employees are entitled to the NMW even if they signed a contract agreeing to be paid at a lower rate. The contract will have no legal effect and you must still pay them at the proper rate.
If you need further advice contact Melville & Co Chartered Accountants and they will be happy to advise you.