The National Minimum Wage is increasing

From 1st October 2014 the National Minimum Wage rate is increasing.

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour employers must pay almost all workers. The rate depends on a worker’s age (and whether they are an apprentice.)

Currently the rate for a worker who is 21 or over is £6.31 but that will increase to £6.50 per hour from 1st October 2014.  The rates are set out in the table below:-

Year 21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
2014 (from 1 October) £6.50 £5.13 £3.79 £2.73
2013 (current rate) £6.31 £5.03 £3.72 £2.68

Kindly note the below workers are not entitled to the minimum wage:

  • self-employed people running their own business
  • company directors
  • volunteers or voluntary workers
  • workers on a government employment programme, eg the Work Programme
  • family members of the employer living in the employer’s home
  • non-family members living in the employer’s home who share in the work and leisure activities, are treated as one of the family and aren’t charged for meals or accommodation (eg au pairs)
  • workers younger than school leaving age (usually 16)
  • higher and further education students on a work placement up to 1 year
  • workers on government pre-apprenticeships schemes
  • people on the following European Union programmes: Leonardo da Vinci, Youth in Action, Erasmus, Comenius
  • people working on a Jobcentre Plus Work trial for 6 weeks
  • members of the armed forces
  • share fishermen
  • prisoners
  • people living and working in a religious community

Of significance to employers is that fact that it is a criminal offence not to pay someone the National Minimum Wage.   Further, any contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding and the worker must still be paid the minimum wage.

Any employers who find out that they have paid or are paying a worker below the minimum wage must pay any arrears immediately.   Further, there will also be a penalty and offenders may be ‘named and shamed.’

Finally, an employer must keep records proving wage payments (and the records must be kept for at least 3 years.)

Should you wish to discuss the impact the changes to the National Minimum Wage will have on your business then please call Helen McGrath of Astle Paterson’s Employment Department on 01283 531366 or by email at

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