The National Minimum Wage is the minimum amount of pay per hour that an employee must be paid by UK law. The exact amount will depend on age and whether or not the employee is in an apprenticeship scheme. The National Living Wage, introduced in 2016, is the set rate employees over the age of 25 are legally entitled to.

To be entitled for the National Minimum Wage you must be at least school leaving age and the current National Minimum Wage rates change every April. 

These rates are currently set at:

*Table 1

minimum wage table 1
Recently, there has been incremental rises in the National Minimum Wage for those under 25 as we can see from Table 2 below.

*Table 2

minimum wage table 2
The figures in Table 3 are the National Minimum Wage rates before the National Living Wage was introduced, and up to this point the wage changes occurred every October.

*Table 3

minimum wage table 3

To ensure that the rate remains fair, the National Minimum Wage is monitored yearly by the Low Pay Commission (LPC). The LPC is an independent body that advises the UK Government about the National Minimum Wage, as well as the National Living Wage.

Historically, official calls for a national minimum wage had been under debate since the early 1990s. It wasn’t until the Labour Party entered office that it came into force on 1st April 1999 after being approved in March of that year. It was widely reported that their minimum wage policy was borne from the membership decline of the trade unions and an attempt to offer more protection for those employees who were not part of any union. 

Comparing your salary

Getting a fair salary is one of the most significant factors taken into consideration when making any career decision. Whether you’re earning the minimum wage or perhaps more, it’s essential to know how much others doing the same job as yourself are being paid. Use our salary comparison tool to benchmark what you’re earning against the average for your sector and job role. The tool allows you to compare your own salary with the current market average, or benchmark salaries if you’re hiring. The salaries are calculated by using job titles from our placements and advertised roles over the last 12 months, but does not allow for bonuses or benefits. Our data is updated every three months.

Employee benefits and perks should also be taken into consideration when comparing your salary because they can amount to between 20% and 40% of its total. They can also have a significant impact by saving you money on what’s important and enable a healthy work life balance. Don’t delay, take a look at our benefits tool to help determine which benefits will be most valuable to you.

To make sure you’re in the best possible position and that you’re getting paid what you’re worth, use our tools in tandem with each other to find out how your salary compares against the UK National Minimum Wage within the current environment.

*Table 1,2. www.gov.uk (2018) National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates. (Accessed April 2018).

*Table 3. www.gov.uk (2017) National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates. (Accessed July 2017).

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