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National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW)

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This article summarises your legal right to earn the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) — hourly rates set by the government each year.

The National Minimum Wage laws apply to nearly all workers regardless of the type of work they do or the size or type of company they work for. You don't have to be working full time, or on employers' premises. It does not matter whether you are paid weekly or monthly, by cheque, cash or in any other way.

You can get the NMW if you are:

Note that you are not necessarily entitled to the NMW if you are:

Agricultural workers have separate pay rates, set by the Agricultural Wages Board.

The Low Pay Commission, an independent advisory body, monitors the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and advises the government on rates.

NMW rates

The National Minimum Wage was introduced in 1999 and has been increased each year since.

The rates from 1 April 2019 are:

The apprentice rate applies to:

National Living Wage (NLW)

On 1 April 2016, a new law came into force that requires employers to pay workers age 25 and over the new National Living Wage (NLW), which from 1 April 2019 is £8.21 an hour. For workers age 24 and under, the NMW still applies.

Where to find out more

To find out more about the NMW and NLW, the following websites and contacts are useful.

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