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Update To UK National Minimum Wage 2014

Published 06 October 2014

The national minimum wage is the minimum wage almost all workers are legally entitled to as set out in the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.

As of 1st October 2014 NMW is set at:

  • £6.50 for workers 21 and over
  • £5.13 for 18 to 20 year olds
  • £3.79 for 16 to 17 year olds
  • £2.73 for apprentices under 19 or in their first year of the apprenticeship

It should be noted; under contractual law, any employment contract that offers less than the minimum wage is not legally binding as it violates parliamentary law.

 

Who is entitled to the National Minimum Wage?

Nearly all workers of school leaving age (16+) and over are entitled to the national minimum wage. Workers are entitled to the national minimum wage include:

  • part-time
  • casual labourers, eg someone hired for 1 day
  • agency workers
  • workers and homeworkers paid by the number of items they make
  • apprentices
  • trainees, workers on probation
  • disabled workers
  • agricultural workers
  • foreign workers
  • seafarers
  • offshore workers

 

Apprentices:

Apprentices under 19 and over 19 but only in their first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the apprentice rate of £2.73. Once an apprentice over the age of 19 has completed their first year, they are entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

 

Those not entitled to the National Minimum Wage:

As with most things there are some exceptions in the law, with the following being exempt from the National 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

 

Work experience and internships

If you are working as part of an educational experience and/or internship especially if you are of compulsory school age then sadly you are exempt from the National Minimum Wage, this includes if you are:

  • a student doing work experience as part of a higher or further education course
  • of compulsory school age
  • a volunteer or doing voluntary work
  • on a government or European programme
  • work shadowing

 

Voluntary work

Volunteers, understandably, are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. This includes voluntary work for the following organisations or activities:

  • charity
  • voluntary organisation or associated fund-raising body
  • statutory body

 

 

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For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 

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