Millions of workers across the UK saw an increase in pay last month after a rise to the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage came into effect on 1st April.

With the cost of living imploding in recent months, many households have been put under extra pressure to make ends meet. And while the increase in the National Minimum Wage will not solve these problems, it will certainly go some way to bolster income.

The rise in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage will go some way to ease cost of living pressures.

What is Minimum Wage?

Employers are legally required to compensate you with (at least) a minimum amount for the hours you work. The rate you are entitled to by law will depend on your age:

  • National Living Wage (NLW) is paid to workers over the age of 23 (this was previously 25).
  • National Minimum Wage (NMW) is paid to workers under the age of 23 and apprentices.

The current rates for both NLW and NMW are:

Wage BandRate From April 2022
National Living Wage£9.50
21 to 22 Year Old Rate£9.18
18 to 20 Year Old Rate£6.83
16 to 17 Year Old Rate£4.81

These rates are reviewed by the government each year and are usually updated on 1st April, inline with the new fiscal year. The NLW and NMW rates for the previous year were:

Approximately 2.5 million workers in the UK saw a rise in pay following the increase of the National Minimum Wage.

Who Gets Minimum Wage?

Any person is employed as an employee or worker must be paid NLW or NMW, depending on their age. This applies regardless of whether they are:

  • Full-time workers.
  • Part-time workers.
  • Completing training that is essential for the job.
  • Working in an SME or ‘start-up’ business.

NLW and NMW also applies to:

  • Agency workers.
  • Agricultural workers.
  • Apprentices.
  • Casual labourers.
  • Casual workers.
  • Employees on probation.
  • Foreign workers.
  • Home workers.
  • Offshore workers.
  • Seafarers.
  • Workers who are paid by commission.
  • Workers who are paid based on the number of items made or pieces of work completed.
  • Zero-hour workers.



There are some examples of work that is not covered by NLW or NMW. These are:

  • Self-employed (by choice).
  • Volunteer (by choice).
  • Company Director.
  • Armed Forces.
  • Work experience as part of a course.
  • Work shadowing.
  • Under school leaving age.

Full time employees working for the National Living Wage will have seen an increase of £5,000 in pay since it was introduced in 2016.

Apprentice Rate

You are entitled to the apprentice rate if you are working as an apprentice and are:

  • Under 19; or,
  • 19 or over and in the first year of your current apprenticeship agreement.

If you are 19 or over and have completed the first year of your current apprenticeship, you will be entitled to the NMW rate for your age.