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Minimum Wage In The UK: Explained

Minimum wage in the UK

The minimal hourly rate to which employees are legally entitled is known as the national minimum wage. This refers to all workers and employees, except for those who are completely self-employed, and includes part-time, flexible, agency workers, people with zero-hour contracts, and people employed through apprenticeship programmes. From 16 years old and up, there are various charges for each age group. These prices are established by the government and are evaluated each year. Every year in April, the rates of the minimum wage in the UK are adjusted as recommended by the impartial Low Pay Commission.

No matter their size, employers are required by law to pay the National Minimum Wage. The government has released updated guidance on how to determine the minimum wage as well as information on how to make sure you are paying your employees at least that amount. In the UK, there’s a minimum wage that employers must pay their workers. This blog will explain what it is and how to check if you’re getting paid at least the national minimum wage in the UK.

UK Minimum Wage Per Hour

The amount one can earn in the United Kingdom depends on the types of work one is opting for, the UK working hours, and it will also vary with the age and years of experience of a person. The minimum wage in the UK is determined by the number of hours they spend working.

You’re entitled to be paid the national minimum salary in the UK if:

  • You’re an employee – this means you work for someone else and receive a regular wage or salary from them, rather than being self-employed (for example, as a freelancer or consultant).
  • Your employment is “commercial”—that is, it’s not domestic service in your own home or voluntary work for charity. The exception is where there’s a family relationship between you and your employer; in these circumstances, they don’t have to pay the minimum wage.

Rates Of Minimum Wage In The UK

The minimum hourly wage in the UK changed as of 1 April 2022. The following amended UK hourly rates will apply:

  • The minimum hourly wage for anyone above the age of 23 is £9.50.
  • The minimum hourly wage is £9.18 for anyone between the ages of 21 and 22
  • The minimum hourly wage for those between the ages of 18 and 20 is £6.83
  • The minimum wage in the UK for people above the age of 18 but under the age of 20 is £4.81 per hour
  • The minimum hourly wage for apprentices is £4.81 for those between the ages of 16 and 18 (or for those over nineteen who are in their first year of college).


If an apprentice is under the age of 19 or has finished the first year of their apprenticeship, they are eligible to receive the apprentice rate of the applicable UK minimum wage per hour. They are eligible to earn the complete minimum wage in the UK for their age group if they are above 19, though.

National Minimum Wage For International Students

International students are entitled to the same national wage in the UK as its citizens after getting a student visa for the country. Both full-time and part-time employees are subject to the same rules. For a pay raise and to make more than the minimum wage in the UK, broaden your expertise by getting a Master’s degree in the area of your choosing.

Calculating The Minimum Wage Pay

When determining an employee’s minimum wage, it is important to make sure they are compensated at least the legal minimum for all hours that qualify. This is true whether the worker is paid a monthly wage or by the hour.

Employers must tally up all hours that an employee is entitled to be paid for each payment period, divide that number by the total amount of compensation, and then determine if the employee is being paid at least the minimum wage. The employee’s pay must be raised if this sum is less than or larger than the necessary national minimum wage for that employee.

Penalties For Non-Compliance

The National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage in the UK are enforced by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). By sending out a notice of underpayment, they can enforce nonpayment. With a minimum penalty of £100 and a maximum penalty of £20,000, this will determine the arrears of pay that must be paid, as well as the penalty, which is set at 100% of the total underpayment of the national minimum pay in the UK. 

If you think your employer is not paying you at least the national minimum wage, you can contact the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (ACAS) to get help and advice on what action to take. You can also contact your local authority’s trading standards department. Your local authority may be able to act against your employer for not paying the minimum wage.


The minimum wage in the UK is a legal requirement that employers must pay employees who are over 18. It’s important to know your rights, as well as your employer’s responsibilities regarding paying you what you’re owed. Depending on their age and whether they are an apprentice or not, a working individual in the United Kingdom should get the UK minimum wage per hour. One can also call the ACAS helpline for discreet legal assistance in the event of any salary disparity.


1. How long is a working day in the UK?

The Working Time Regulations of 1998 govern working hours in the UK. These are restricted to an average of 48 hours per week and an average of 8 hours each working day. Additionally, they grant employees and workers the right to paid time off and designated rest periods.

2. How many days off do UK workers get?

Most workers who work a 5-day week must receive at least 28 days‘ paid annual leave a year. This is the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday.

3. What is a good salary UK?

The average UK wage in 2021 was £38,131 for a full-time position and £13,549 for a part-time position, according to the ONS. This is a modest decline from the average UK pay in 2020 when the full-time average salary was £38,552 and the part-time average was £13,819.

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘Minimum Wage In The UK: Explained’ If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that may be of interest to you –

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What You Need To Know About Finding Part-Time Jobs In The UK

Know More About The Student Working Hours In The UK!

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Minimum wage in the UK

Minimum Wage In The UK: Explained