Minimum wage law


There are strict laws in the UK dictating how much money you should be paid per hour, depending on your age. If you suspect you are being paid below the minimum wage, then your company is in serious breach of the law.

Who is entitled to the national minimum wage?

Nearly all UK workers are entitled to be paid the national minimum wage, including foreigners working in the UK. This includes all workers who have a contract of employment, whether written or oral. The national minimum wage does not normally apply to self-employed persons.

If you need help negotiating a pay package with your company, or have a general dispute involving the payment of your wages, speak to us and we will recommend an employment solicitor to help resolve the issue.

What is the minimum wage in the UK?

The minimum wage law was last amended in October 2014 (it is usually updated every year in October). Currently, the minimum wage law states that there are four rates of pay that all employers must pay. These minimum rates of pay are:

  • Apprentices (under 19 – if over, use the age bracket) must be paid £2.73
  • 16-17 year olds must be paid £3.79 per hour
  • 18-20 year olds must be paid £5.13 per hour
  • Anyone over 21 must be paid £6.50 per hour

Minimum wage law also cover any workers that get tips or other service charges – it is illegal to include these payments in the hourly wage.

Adult workers

Minimum wage law also only applies to adult workers. An adult worker is defined under minimum wage law as:

  • Anyone that works from home
  • Piece workers
  • Casual labourers
  • Agency workers
  • Part-time workers

The number of hours that an adult worker must work to qualify for the minimum wage will be determined by the job they are doing. It is illegal for an employer to manipulate the hours their employees are working to avoid paying the minimum wage.

If you feel that your employer is not applying the minimum wage law properly, you can take them to an employment tribunal. You should never attempt to fight your case alone. Your trade union, if you have a membership, should be able to provide you with legal representation.

If you are not a union member you should still get a solicitor that is skilled in employment law to represent you.

Do you have a dispute surrounding your wages? We can put you in touch with a specialist employment law solicitor to help represent you at tribunal level, or advise you how to settle with your company outside of court. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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