Guide

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - rates and overview

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

The following rates are for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage in the UK and apply to workers in Northern Ireland. These minimum wage rates have been in effect since 1 April 2018.

Current minimum wage rates

Age Rate (per hour)
25 years old and over £7.83
21-24 years old £7.38
18-20 years old £5.90
16-17 years old £4.20
Apprentices* £3.70


*Apprentices under the age of 19 years old or aged 19 years old or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship - £3.50 per hour (this rate does not apply to Higher Level Apprenticeships). All other apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age.

It is good practice to display information about current minimum wage rates in your workplace.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates change every April.

Employer requirements for the minimum wage

If a worker is entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, you must pay them at least the rate they are entitled to for the hours of work that qualify. You cannot make an agreement with a worker to pay them less than the minimum wage rate.

Which minimum wage rate applies to a worker?

You need to know which minimum wage rate applies to a worker - based on their entitlement at the start of each pay reference period. The minimum wage rate that applies to a worker is the rate they are entitled to on the first day of the pay reference period. For more information about pay reference periods see National Minimum Wage and Living Wage pay reference period.

Minimum wage rate example

For example, at age 20 a worker is entitled to the 18 to 20 years old rate. From the first pay reference period starting on or after their 21st birthday, they become entitled to the 21 to 24 years old rate. If you pay them for a pay reference period ending on a Friday and their birthday is on the following Wednesday - they will be entitled to the 21 to 24 years old rate from the Saturday after their birthday.

As the rates are age related, you may need to ask workers to provide proof of their age.

Minimum wage rates for agricultural workers

As of 1 April 2018, minimum wage rates for agricultural workers are:

Agricultural worker grade Rate (per hour)
Grade 1 (minimum rate) £6.88
Grade 2 (standard worker) £7.42
Grade 3 (lead worker) £8.16
Grade 4 (craft grade) £8.76
Grade 5 (supervisory grade) £9.26
Grade 6 (farm management grade) £10.04


Where at any time the National Minimum Wage becomes higher than the hourly rate set out above, the minimum rate will become equal with the National Minimum Wage.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) provides further information on the agricultural rates of pay, orders and reports.

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