The national minimum wage (NMW) applies to all workers and is paid at different rates according to age. There is a separate rate for apprentices, and a National Living Wage (NLW) applies to workers aged 25 and over. The current and future rates for the minimum wage (which represents gross pay) are as follows:
|Age||Rate from 1 April 2017||Rate from 1 April 2018||Rate from 1 April 2019|
|Workers aged 25 and over (NLW)||£7.50 an hour||£7.83 an hour||£8.21 an hour|
|Workers aged 21 and over||£7.05 an hour||£7.38 an hour||£7.70 an hour|
|Development rate for workers aged 18-20||£5.60 an hour||£5.90 an hour||£6.15 an hour|
|Young workers rate for workers aged 16-17||£4.05 an hour||£4.20 an hour||£4.35 an hour|
|Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in the first year of the apprenticeship||£3.50 an hour||£3.70 an hour||£3.90 an hour|
The minimum wage rates are reviewed annually and will be updated in April.
- All workers, except those who are genuinely self-employed, are entitled to receive the NMW/NLW
- Gross pay is used to calculate whether an eligible worker has been paid the minimum wage
- The NMW/NLW is calculated by including most financial awards or payments, but excluding allowances such as regional or on-call allowances, unsocial hours payments, tips and gratuities, or any benefits in kind, with the exception of accommodation up to a specified amount
- Employers can average the hourly rate of pay over the pay period
- Non-compliance can result in an enforcement notice requiring the employer to pay the difference between what was actually paid and what the worker should have received under the NMW legislation. Further non-compliance could result in the issue of a penalty notice and financial penalties.
- The government expects the rate to rise to over £9 by 2020 (a government policy paper explains the thinking behind the NLW).
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that legislation will be introduced, at the earliest opportunity, to prevent unfair tipping practices by organisations. The aim of the legislation will be to ensure that staff are receiving all tips that relate to their service and outlawing the ability for organisations to make deductions to cover business charges, such as credit card administration fees.
Although the new law has been announced, there are no further details as to how this will apply across organisations or any expected implementation date. Tipping is a complex area in itself, and it will have to be confirmed whether the new law will apply to cash tips, gratuities paid through cards and/or service charges automatically applied to restaurant bills.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that the National Living Wage, currently the highest minimum wage rate, is to increase up to £10.50 within the next five years, which he states would give four million workers a pay-rise. Furthermore, the highest band of minimum wage available will be extended to anyone who is aged 21 and over.
Whilst this announcement does set a target for the government, the rates for next year are yet to be announced and it is currently unclear how much rates will increase annually in the run up to this.