What is the minimum salary in the United Kingdom?

Get to know the main regulations that are applied to the minimum wage in the UK. Current rates for NMW, NLW, and apprentices.
Minimum Wage in the UK

Minimum Wage in the UK 

Each employer has to adhere to the regulations according to the minimum wage. This amount is set by the government to make sure that workers can receive enough money to cover their basic needs. Any social security contributions and taxes payable by the employer apply to the minimum wage and not to the lower actual wage. The minimum wage is often changed from one year to the next, requiring regular employment contracts to be adapted. 

National Minimum Wage in the UK  

The employee needs to be at least of a school leaving age to qualify for the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The rate is divided into different age brackets, with lower rates for younger workers. The NMW applies to most workers, including those who work full-time and part-time. 

National Living Wage in the UK 

Workers aged 23 and over are entitled to a higher minimum wage rate which is also called the National Living Wage (NLW).  

  • Like the National Minimum Wage, the NLW undergoes annual reviews by the government and subsequently may change. For instance, there is a regulation that from 1 April 2024, workers aged 21 and over will be entitled to the National Living Wage. 


Apprentices are entitled to the reduced apprentice rate if they’re either aged under 19 or for the first year of their apprenticeship, but in no case if they are of at least of the qualifying age for the NLW as indicated above. 

NMW and NLW Don’t Apply to 

There are certain categories of people that aren’t entitled to get NMW or NLW. These include: 

  • self-employed 
  • company directors 
  • volunteers 
  • workers on a government employment program, government pre-apprenticeship schemes, or EU programs (e.g. Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus+, Comenius) 
  • 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 
  • workers younger than school leaving age (usually 16) 
  • higher and further education students on work experience or a work placement up to one year 
  • people shadowing others at work. 

Current Rates 

As for today, the wage looks the following way.  

23 and over 21 to 22 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice 
£10.42 £10.18 £7.49 £5.28 £5.28 

However, the rate changes every year, and from 1 April 2024, the amounts will be slightly different. 

21 and over 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice 
£11.44 £8.60 £6.40 £6.40 

Amounts taken into account for calculating the minimum wage include: 

  • income tax and National Insurance contributions 
  • wage advances or loans 
  • repayment of wage advances or loans 
  • repayment of overpaid wages 
  • things the worker paid for that are not needed for the job or paid for voluntarily, such as meals 
  • accommodation provided by an employee above the offset rate 
  • penalty charges for misconduct. 

Amounts not included in the calculation of the minimum wage: 

  • payments that should not be included for the employer’s own use or benefit, for example, if the employer has paid for travel to work 
  • things that the worker bought for the job and is not refunded for, such as tools, uniform, safety equipment 
  • tips, service charges, and cover charges 
  • extra pay for working unsocial hours on a shift. 

AdminTech Recommends

Employers in the UK who fail to pay the minimum wage may face legal penalties. To avoid this, AdminTech suggests: 

  • Checking the government minimum wage calculator to determine if the foreseen salary is enough. 
  • Keeping all records of payroll data for up to 6 years. 
  • Opting for a remote employment contract for a cross-border employee or an employee who lives in another country where there is no legal minimum wage.
Create your remote employment contract in a couple of clicks
  • Adjusting salary and contract according to the changes in legislation and collective bargaining agreements. 

You can always modify your employment contract and the wage that is included there using valid document templates. Just fill in the needed information, save it, and come to your employment contract whenever you want to edit any detail.  

Create your standard employment contract in a couple of clicks