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Changes to National Living / Minimum Wage increases in April 2024

National Living / Minimum Wage increases in April 2024


In April 2024, the United Kingdom will see a significant update to its minimum wage structure, with the National Living Wage (NLW) being extended to include younger workers. This change is part of the government's ongoing efforts to ensure fair compensation across different age groups in the workforce. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage are governed by the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, and these rates are adjusted annually.

Updated Minimum Wage Rates from April 2024:

  • Age 21 and Over (National Living Wage): £11.44 per hour. This rate, previously for those aged 23 and over, will now extend to include workers aged 21 and over.
  • Age 18 to 20: £8.60 per hour. This rate is for young adults who are in the early stages of their careers.
  • Under 18: £6.40 per hour. This applies to workers of school-leaving age but under 18.
  • Apprentice Rate: £6.40 per hour. This is for individuals on recognised apprenticeships.

Who is Eligible for Minimum Wage?

  • The NMW and NLW cover all workers and employees, including those on zero-hours contracts, in probationary periods, commission-based roles, and foreign workers in the UK.

Exceptions to Minimum Wage Requirements:

  • Some workers, such as genuinely self-employed individuals, company directors without employment contracts, those under school leaving age, and voluntary workers, are not covered by minimum wage laws.

Apprenticeship Wage Specifics:

  • The apprentice rate applies to apprentices under 19 or those aged 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship. After this period, apprentices are entitled to the NMW or NLW, depending on their age.

The April 2024 adjustments, particularly the lowering of the age threshold for the National Living Wage to 21 years and over, mark a notable increase in the minimum wage rates. It's important for employers and employees to be aware of these changes to ensure compliance with the law and fair wage practices.