The National Minimum Wage




The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum hourly rate which must be paid to workers in most sectors in the UK. If you work in the UK legally (you have permission or do not need one) it is your right to be receiving at least NMW. The rules are slightly different if you are employed in agriculture. NMW rate depends on age.

Everyone aged 21 and above is entitled to be receiving the national minimum wage of £7.20

Workers below the age of 21 and apprentices have lower rates (age 18-20 receive £5.30) . Even if your employer deducts money for food or travel your rate of pay must still receive the NMW. If you think you are not receiving it call the NMW helpline on 0845 6000 678.





Living wage (LW) is an hourly rate which reflects the cost of living. Employees should aim to pay the living wage to all their employers. However, living wage is not legally required unlike the NMW. The living wage is divided into two categories; (1) London and (2) the rest of the UK. The idea behind the LW is for the workers to be able to have decent living conditions considering their living expenses. Not all employers pay the living wage but more employers are signing up to be living wage employers.

The LW in London (as of 2016) is £9.40 per hour and The UK LW (outside London) is £8.25.

The rate is set independently every year. For more information click here. New rates for 2016/17 will be announced in November 2016.





1. NMW and  LW are both hourly rates

2. NMW is a legal obligation whereas LW is not

3. NMW is determined by the employee’s age and it is the same across the UK

4. LW is determined by location one for London and one for the rest of the UK

Related Topics

National Insurance

NATIONAL INSURANCE (NI)   NI contributions count towards your State Pension, Maternity Alowance, Bereavement Benefit etc. In order to make National Insurance contributions, you will have to apply for a National Insurance Number (NINO).   WHAT IS NINO   An NI number acts as your personal account which keeps records of all your tax and   Read More

Useful websites and Sources

For advice regarding legal matters, housing, taxes, rights, benefits please visit:   Information on volunteering:    Citizen Advice Bureau offers free independent, impartial and confidential advice on wide range of queries from housing, employment rights, discrimination etc.   The Trade Union Congress– rights at work   HM Revenue &Customs -advice and forms on   Read More

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