National Minimum Wage rates increase

  • adult hourly rate of the national minimum wage 23 years+ is  £8.91; from 1 April 2022 it will be £9.50
  • adult hourly rate of the national minimum wage 21-22 years is  £8.36; from 1 April 2022 it will be £9.18
  • development rate (which covers workers aged 18-20 years) is  £6.56; from 1 April 2022 it will be £6.83
  • rate for 16 to 17-year-olds is  £4.62; from 1 April 2022 it will be £4.81
  • for apprentices under the age of 19 and those aged 19 and over in the first 12 months of their apprenticeship, the apprentice minimum wage rate is £4.30; from 1 April 2022 it will be £4.81
The real Living Wage is £9.90/hour outside London, next to be updated November 2022.

The new real London Living Wage is £11.05 per hour. It is calculated according to the cost of living by the Living Wage Foundation, calculated by the Centre for Research in Social Policy and not to be confused with the Tory use of the term referring to the increase of minimum wage for 25 years+

Benefit rates

The National Minimum Wage hourly rate was introduced AS LAW by the Labour government in April 1999. It has been uprated as follows:

               23+yrs     21-22yrs    18-20yrs   16-17yrs   apprentice rate
Apr 2022  £9.50        £9.18        £6.83           £4.81       £4.81
Apr 2021  £8.91        £8.36        £6.56          £4.62       £4.30       Living Wage £9.90 in Midlands  £11.05 in London
               25+yrs     21-24yrs    18-20yrs   16-17yrs   apprentice rate
Apr 2020  £8.72        £8.20        £6.45          £4.55       £4.15
Apr 2019   £8.21       £7.70         £6.15        £4.35        £3.90     Living Wage £9.30 in Midlands  £10.75 in London 
Apr 2018  £7.83        £7.38        £5.90        £4.20         £3.70      Living Wage £9 in Midlands  £10.55 in London 

Apr 2017   £7.50        £7.05        £5.60        £4.05         £3.50     Living Wage £8.75 in Midlands  £10.20 in London
Oct 2016   £7.20         £6.95        £5.55        £4.00         £3.40       Living Wage £8.45 in Midlands  £9.75 in London 
Apr 2016   £7.20        £6.70        £5.30        £3.87         £3.30        Living Wage £8.25 in Midlands  £9.40 in London
                                21+yrs     18-20yrs   16-17yrs   apprentice rate 
Oct 2015    £6.70       £5.30        £3.87         £3.30         Living Wage £8.25 in Midlands  £9.40 in London
Oct-2014    £6.50       £5.13        £3.79         £2.73         Living Wage £7.85 in Midlands  £9.15 in London 
Oct-2013    £6.31       £5.03        £3.72         £2.68         Living Wage £7.65 in Midlands  £8.80 in London
Oct-2012    £6.19       £4.98        £3.68         £2.65         Living Wage £7.45 in Midlands  £8.55 in London
Oct-2011    £6.08       £4.98        £3.68         £2.60         Living Wage £7.20 in Midlands  £8.30 in London
Oct-2010    £5.93       £4.92        £3.64         £2.50                                       Living Wage £7.85 in London
               22+yrs      18-21yrs   16-17yrs
Oct-09       £5.80        £4.83        £3.57           none                                    Living Wage £7.60 in London
Oct-08       £5.73        £4.77        £3.53                                                       Living Wage £7.45 in London
Oct-07       £5.52        £4.60        £3.40                                                       Living Wage £7.20 in London
Oct-06       £5.35        £4.45        £3.30                                                       Living Wage £7.05 in London
Oct-05       £5.05        £4.25        £3.00                                                       Living Wage £6.70 in London
Oct-04       £4.85        £4.10        £3.00                                                       Living Wage £6.50 in London
Oct-03       £4.50        £3.80         none                           first calculation of Living Wage £6.40 in London
Oct-02       £4.20        £3.60         none
Oct-01       £4.10        £3.50         none
Jun-00       £3.70        £3.20         none
Apr-99       £3.60        £3.00         none
The apprentice rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.
For Agricultural workers employed in England before the rules changed on 1 October 2013 still have the right to the Agricultural Minimum Wage. Agricultural workers in Wales did not have their rights taken away, see
  You can get advice on issues including:
The TUC has produced a minimum wage calculator – Click HERE to see if you are getting enough?
More information on the government’s website
or call the Acas helpline or visit the Acas Helpline Online for advice about the National Minimum Wage.
April 2021 “Workers on the national minimum wage – not least the two million who are key workers – have been let down by the Government’s decision to row back on the full planned rise they were promised,” said the Trades Union Congress. A proposed 5.6 per cent rise in basic pay was due to come in raising the wage from £8.72 to £9.21 per hour under recommendations from the Low Pay Commission.

I you get accommodation as part of your job:

The accommodation offset rate was £7.55 in April 2019

If an employer charges more than the offset rate, the difference is taken off the worker’s pay which counts for the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. This means the higher the accommodation charge, the lower a worker’s pay when calculating the minimum wage.

If the accommodation charge is at or below the offset rate, it doesn’t have an effect on the worker’s pay.

If the accommodation is free, the offset rate is added to the worker’s pay.

for more info see


Low Pay Commission showed that 439,000 people were paid below their legal entitlement in April 2018, 2% higher than in the previous year, and continuing a trend of law-breaking that has been ongoing since 2016.
LPC Chair, Bryan Sanderson, said that “it is essential that people receive what they are entitled to. It is also vital for businesses to be able to operate on a level playing field and not be illegally undercut on wages”.

There was a substantial increase in reports of employers not paying National Minimum Wage in 2015-16, according to a new report from the National Audit Office.
Over the past 12 months, 58,000 workers were recorded as being owed money by their employers, more than doubling the 26,000 recorded in 2014-15.
The total debt owed to workers has more than tripled, with £10.3 million in arrears recorded in the last 12 months, compared with £3.3 million in 2014-15.
Since the National Minimum Wage was introduced in 1999, employers have failed to pay a total of £68 million to over 313,000 workers.
Non-compliance was a particular concern in the social care sector, where it is estimated 11% of workers do not receive the National Minimum Wage.
Meanwhile, workers are forced to wait an average of eight months for the HMRC to resolve their case.

The Midlands TUC has welcomed the government’s naming and shaming of six Midlands companies for failing to pay its workers the national minimum wage. The January 2015 announcement by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills revealed that:

  • ABC Early Learning and Childcare Centre UK Ltd, Wolverhampton, neglected to pay £5,329.25 to 68 workers

  • Mrs Kelly Jayne Lockley trading as Diva Hair Design, Walsall, neglected to pay £4,103.65 to a worker

  • Callum Austin Ltd trading as Jason Austin Hairdressers, Kettering, neglected to pay £1,899.66 to 2 workers

  • Rumble (Bedworth) Ltd, Nuneaton, neglected to pay £404.41 to a worker

  • Holmes Cleaning Company, Worksop neglected to pay £240.48 to a worker

  • Learnplay Foundation Ltd, West Bromwich, neglected to pay £224.73 to a worker

Lee Barron, Midlands TUC Regional Secretary said: “The national minimum wage is a legal requirement and any firm not paying it should hold their heads in shame. We need to send a loud and clear message to such employers that they have nowhere to hide and will be named and shamed for not paying their workers what they are entitled to.  Greater fines are needed to stop rogue bosses abusing workers by not paying them a legal minimum wage and it is the mission of the Midlands TUC to make sure workers in the region are protected and are paid what they should be.”

Paying the living wage would mean a £254 million boost to public finances from the West Midlands – Big savings – £254million – could be made by the public purse if the West Midlands’ (2013 total of) 473,000 low-paid workers received a pay rise and were paid the living wage, according to research published by the Midlands TUC

Reacting to the 2015 rise in the NMW,  TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, argued the rate should be higher: “For the low paid to get a fair share of the recovery, this was a year in which we could have had a much bolder increase in the minimum wage.

“With one in five workers getting less than a living wage, this is nowhere near enough to end in-work poverty. Britain’s minimum-wage workers should be very fearful of the billions of pounds of cuts to government help for the low paid that the chancellor is planning if re-elected.”

The Living Wage is calculated according to the cost of living

What are the benefits of the Living Wage?

GOOD FOR BUSINESS An independent study examining the business benefits of implementing a Living Wage policy in London found that more than 80% of employers believe that the Living Wage had enhanced the quality of the work of their staff, while absenteeism had fallen by approximately 25%.

Two thirds of employers reported a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. 70% of employers felt that the Living Wage had increased consumer awareness of their organisation’s commitment to be an ethical employer.

Following the adoption of the Living Wage PwC found turnover of contractors fell from 4% to 1%.

GOOD FOR FAMILIES The Living Wage affords people the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.

75% of employees reported increases in work quality as a result of receiving the Living Wage.

50% of employees felt that the Living Wage had made them more willing to implement changes in their working practices; enabled them to require fewer concessions to effect change; and made them more likely to adopt changes more quickly.

GOOD FOR SOCIETY The Living Wage campaign was launched in 2001 by parents, who were frustrated that working two minimum wage jobs left no time for family life.

The causes of poverty are complex and in order to improve lives there should be a package of solutions across policy areas. The Living Wage can be part of the solution.

Over half of jobs pay less than the Living Wage in parts of the West Midlands the TUC revealed (March 15)

TUC analysis of official figures from the House of Commons Library shows that nationally on average one in five jobs pays under the living wage – currently set at £9.15 in London and £7.85 across the rest of the UK

Part-time working women in Wolverhampton South West the picture is bleak, with 3 in 5 getting paid less than the living wage.

Percentage of employee jobs with hourly pay excluding overtime below the living wage [latest figures: April 2014]

Wolverhampton South East
All employees 31.4 Part-time employees 51.9
Female employees 43.2 Part-time females 49.7

Wolverhampton South West
All employees 32.4 Part-time employees 54.8
Female employees 43.8 Part-time females 60.5

Wolverhampton North East
All employees 15.0 Part-time employees 35.2

The West Midlands Deserves a Pay Rise!

A higher minimum wage – full time workers would be nearly £800 per year better off if the NMW kept up with prices since 2007

Increased commitment to the living wage – with nearly 1 in 4 workers in the West Midlands earning less than the living wage we need more employers to sign up their own staff and those in their supply chains

Create new wages councils to set higher minimum wages – in many sectors employers can afford to pay more without job losses. Sectoral minimum wages would help in recruitment and retention and ensures that workers and business get a fair deal

Fairer pay for all at work – a crackdown is needed on excessive board room pay and an end to bosses earning over 130 times their lowest paid employees. Workers representatives on pay committees and more transparency is needed

Increase coverage of collective bargaining – Even the IMF concedes that the decline of collective bargaining has increased wage inequality. More collective bargaining and a fair balance at work is needed to stop pay dictatorships and an end to the view of getting the best in the boardroom is by paying more, getting the best out of a workforce means paying them less.

Across Great Britain, more than five million people get paid less than the living wage. Birmingham Northfield tops the national list – with 53.4 per cent of the jobs based there paying less than the living wage.
Wolverhampton North East is one of the least badly off areas with 15 per cent of jobs paying less than the living wage

Midlands TUC Regional Secretary Lee Barron said: “Extending the living wage is a vital step towards tackling the growing problem of in-work poverty across the West Midlands – and Britain as a whole. Working families have experienced the biggest squeeze on their living standards since Victorian times, and these living wage figures show that women are disproportionately affected. Pay has been squeezed at all levels below the boardroom, and the government’s mantra about making ‘work pay’ is completely out of touch with reality. The number of living wage employers is growing rapidly and unions are playing their part in encouraging more employers to sign up and pay it. But we need to see a far wider commitment to pay the living wage from government, employers and modern wages councils – to drive up productivity and set higher minimum rates in industries where employers can afford to pay their staff more.”


220,000 care workers looking after some of the most vulnerable people in the UK are being illegally paid below the national minimum wage of £6.50 an hour.

This is in part because whilst the advertised rate may be above the minimum wage, most care workers are on zero hours or temporary agency contracts, with the employers cutting out paid time wherever they can. A full day on the job can translate into only a handful of paid hours.

In 2011 and 2013 HMRC investigated the care sector and found that only half of care providers were paying the national minimum wage. Thanks to their investigation several companies were forced to pay care workers the money that they were legally owed.

But now investigations have stopped again and, coupled with reductions in care budgets, the situation has become worse.

Vince Cable could instruct HMRC to investigate again, to name and shame some of the biggest care providers in the country, but so far he hasn’t.

This practice is hurting carers, and hurting the people who need their care. Care workers are pressured to leave their visits early to avoid having their wages pulled down. Many good care workers get fed up with the situation and find other work, and the high turnover means a lack of continuity of care.

Care workers’ union UNISON believe Vince Cable hasn’t acted in part because there hasn’t been pressure from the public. Now is the time to change that.

Sign the UNISON petition now!

 Nov 2014 – latest (KPMG) research shows in the west Midlands 494,000 people are being paid below the living wage a quarter of all workers. The situation is getting worse since there are now 21,000 more West Midlands workers than last year, being paid less than they need to live basically.

The Midlands TUC has reacted with anger and fury at the revelation (Dec 2014) that five Midlands companies have been named and shamed by the Government for failing to pay its workers the National Minimum Wage.

The announcement by the Government Department, BIS, revealed that:

  • Walsall FC Community Programme neglected to pay £9,353.63 to 6 workers.
  • Barber Institute of Fine Arts in Birmingham neglected to pay £25,553.40 to 16 workers.
  • Little Bears Day Nursery in Nottingham neglected to pay £9,298.86 to 2 workers
  • Civil Defence Supply Ltd in Lincoln neglected to pay £3,454.80 to a worker.
  • Premier Autos in Hednesford, Staffordshire neglected to pay £339.12 to a worker

It was announced (15 -1-2014), that fines for failing to pay the minimum wage will be quadrupled from £5,000 to £20,000 in a bid to protect workers’ rights.  It seems that today we have come a step closer to promoting equality and a safe working environment. It was announced by Vince Cable, the Business Secretary that any employer not paying their workers the minimum wage may now face a fine of £20,000 in comparison to the previous fine of £5,000.

These measures spectacularly change the Tory narrative on the minimum wage. It wasn’t so long ago that Tories were suggesting the government allow the NMW to “wither on the vine”.  As we approach the next election, the message has changed. Now the government is looking at measures to help shame wrongdoers and highlight what a serious offence it is to pay people less than the minimum salary rate.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The TUC has long argued that successive governments have been soft on minimum wage dodgers.  The plans announced today to quadruple penalties for rogue bosses who cheat staff out of the minimum wage should make employers think twice before illegally underpaying their staff.

“It’s great that the penalties for flouting the minimum wage have been raised and that it’s easier to name and shame offending employers. It’s crucial now that HMRC is given the resources they need to enforce these new rights properly.”


– The TUC estimates that more than 150,000 workers are still underpaid so there is still more to be done. The TUC would like to see a new focus on enforcing the minimum wage for migrant workers, who find it particularly difficult to get their rights; the creation of a new power for trade unions to take representative and group actions to employment tribunal rather than having to rely on naming individual workers; and a sharpening of the incentives to pay the minimum wage by ensuring that all employers who are caught underpaying are subject to a financial penalty.

A  poll of 1,163 people in full and part time work,  as part of the Unions21 Fair Work Commission has found three quarters of working people (74%) would be more likely to buy products or services from a company that pays its workforce the Living Wage rather than the Minimum Wage.

The poll also found:

-83% of working people think the current Minimum Wage isn’t enough to meet Living Costs.

-71% of UK employees – 21 Million workers – report that their wages have fallen in real terms over the last two years.

-A quarter of workers say the decisions as to ‘who is paid what’ in their workplace are unfair.

-71% would support a cap on bonuses at double total base salary.

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