It comes as good news to those earning the National Minimum Wage (NMW) as they will see their hourly rate increase as of April 2019. See below for the new rates:
- National Living Wage – From £7.83 to £8.21
- Those aged 21-24 – From £7.38 to £7.70
- Those aged 18-20 – From £5.90 to £6.15
- Under 18 – From £4.20 to £4.35
- Apprentices – From £3.70 to £3.90
Who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage?
It’s a legal requirement for businesses to pay their employees the NMW for their age group. You must be school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage and 25 years old to get the National Living Wage.
However for apprentices, this works slightly differently. Apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices if they are:
- Under 19 years of age
- 19 years of age or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
For an apprentice to be entitled to the NMW for their age group they must both:
- Be 19 years of age or over
- Have completed the first year of their apprenticeship
What happens if an employer isn’t paying the National Minimum Wage?
It’s against the law to pay employees less than the NMW for their age group, so it’s important for businesses to stay up-to-date with the changes.
If reported to HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) employers can be taken to civil court and fined; this can be up to £20,000 per worker who was underpaid. On top of this, employers who don’t pay the fine can be publicly named as well as being banned from being a company director for up to 15 years.
For more information on the changes in National Minimum Wage, visit https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates.