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Minimum Wage and the Real Living Wage

The government sets a minimum amount workers must get paid on average for the hours they work. This is called the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW) if you’re aged 25 or over.  It is a statutory obligation to pay your staff at the following levels:

AgeHourly Rate from 1st April 2018
25 and over£7.83
21 to 24£7.38
18 to 20£5.90
Under 18£4.20
Apprentice£3.70


The minimum wage rates usually change every April. The next increase is expected in April 2019 and will probably be announced during the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

The Living Wage Foundation argues that the living wage for those aged 25 or more should be £8.75 across the UK and £10.20 in London.  The reason  that the Living Wage Foundation give for the real Living Wage rates are higher because they are independently-calculated based on what people need to get by and they encourage all employers, that can afford to do so, to ensure their employees earn a wage that meets the costs of living, not just the government minimum.

More from the Living Wage Foundation here