HMRC issues reminders about National Minimum Wage

12 July 2021

HMRC has issued a reminder to students and seasonal staff to check that they are being paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate for any time that they spend working.

The NMW rates that have been in operation since 1 April 2021 are as follows:

  • Age 23 and over – £8.91 National Living Wage (NLW)
  • Age 21 to 22 - £8.36
  • Age 18 to 20 - £6.56
  • Age under 18 - £4.62
  • Apprentice - £4.30

Workers are reminded that they should check their hourly rate and also be aware of any deductions or unpaid working time that would reduce their pay, as this could take them under the minimum wage. HMRC will investigate any complaint that is raised in relation to NMW, and individuals can complain online, or can speak with someone at the Acas Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0300 123 1100.

Employers who need help and advice can get this free from the Acas Helpline.

Apprentices are also entitled to a certain rate of pay per hour, and any apprentices who are under 19 or who are 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship should be paid at this rate. Anyone who is 19 or over that has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to the minimum wage rate applicable to their age.

Deductions and unpaid working time frequently lead to underpayment of the minimum wage. Examples of this can include:

  • Expenses for tools or equipment required for the job
  • Cost of uniform or clothing connected with the job
  • Travelling time between work locations
  • Training time

Employers who fail to pay the NMW can be ‘named and shamed’, and those that deliberately behave in a non-compliant manner can face criminal prosecution.


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