National Minimum Wage - Is Your Employer Prepared?
On the 1st October, the minimum wage thresholds will be changing
. Whether you're part time, full time or an apprentice, you'll be affected by the changes, and it is important that you're aware of what you're entitled to and where you stand.
What is the National Minimum Wage?
The change will affect every business up and down the country, from large corporates to SME's (small and medium enterprise).
Your employer has a legal obligation to keep all records up to date
, including those about payroll.
By law, you are entitled to a minimum amount of pay per hour from your employer. This is the 'national minimum wage', and is a legal requirement. At the moment, this figure stands at:
- £2.68 for apprentices
- £3.72 for under 18's
- £5.03 for 18 to 20 year olds
- £6.31 for those over 21
From October 1st the new rates will be:
- £2.73 for apprentices
- £3.79 for under 18's
- £5.13 for 18 to 20 year olds
- £6.50 for those over 21
The national minimum wage should not be confused with the living wage
, which is based on the amount that someone needs to earn to cover their basic living costs
. The living wage is not currently legally enforceable, but the national minimum wage is
What Can I Do to Prepare?
If your employer fails to implement the coming changes, they will be named and shamed publicly for failing to comply with the law. There is also an increased penalty of up to £20,000
as part of the government's crackdown on employers who break the law. The national minimum wage is an entitlement of every worker, no matter how small the business is.
Things you can do:
- Check you have been paid the correct rate by your employer
- Check with payroll or HR if you're unsure about anything
- If you believe you're not being paid at least the national minimum wage, you can contact the Pay and Work Rights helpline at 0800 917 2368 – you can also file a civil claim against your employer if you have exhausted all your other options