Are You 23 or Over?
If you are a worker aged 23 and over, and not in your first year of an apprenticeship, you are legally entitled to at least the National Living Wage of £10.42 per hour. It is illegal for your employer to pay you below the National Living Wage, so check your pay and talk to your manager to make sure you’re getting the wages you are entitled to.
For confidential advice on your pay and rights at work, call the Acas Helpline. Think you are being underpaid? Report this to HMRC. You can do so even if you no longer work for the employer in question, and your details will not be shared with them.
Are You Under 23?
For workers aged under 23, the National Minimum Wage rate relevant to your age group is applicable:
Date | 21 to 22 | 18 to 20 | Under 18 | Apprentice
— | — | — | — | —
Before April 2023 | £9.18 | £6.83 | £4.81 | £4.81
From April 2023 | £10.18 | £7.49 | £5.28 | £5.28
It is illegal for your employer to pay you less than the National Minimum Wage. Check your pay and speak with your manager to ensure you’re receiving the correct rate. For confidential advice regarding pay and rights at work, call the Acas helpline.
If you suspect underpayment, report the issue to HMRC without sharing your details with the employer.
For apprentices in their first year, the legal minimum rate is £5.28 per hour. If you are 19 or older and have completed your first year, you are entitled to the higher National Living and Minimum Wage rates relevant to your age group. For confidential support and advice on pay and rights at work, call the Acas helpline.
Report any instances of underpayment to HMRC while keeping your details confidential.
Common Minimum Wage Payment Mistakes
Second-Year Apprenticeship Underpayment
If you are aged 18 or under, being paid £5.28 per hour during your second year of apprenticeship is correct. However, if you are 19 or older, your employer must pay the higher rate relevant to your age group.
Incorrect Apprenticeship Rate
If your employer pays you the apprentice rate of £5.28 per hour, but you haven’t officially started your apprenticeship, they are breaking the law. You are entitled to the higher rate relevant to your age group.
Unpaid Training Time
All training time, whether at work, college, or elsewhere, is considered working time and should be compensated at least at the National Minimum Wage rate. This applies even if the training occurs outside normal working hours.