The current state defined wage rates are divided between the National Living Wage (NLW) – this is currently set at £7.50 per hour and only applies to workers aged 25 years and over – and the NMW for workers under 25 years.
The NMW hourly rates are currently:
- Age group 21 to 24 - £7.05
- Age group 18 to 24 - £5.60
- Age group under 18 - £4.05
- Apprentices £3.50
Apprentices are entitled to the apprenticeship rate if they are either:
- Aged under 19
- Aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.
Workers are not entitled to the NMW until they reach the school leaving age. This depends on where you live:
You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you’ll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays.
You must then do one of the following until you’re 18:
- stay in full-time education, for example at a college
- start an apprenticeship or traineeship
- spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training
If you turn 16 between 1 March and 30 September, you can leave school after 31 May of that year.
If you turn 16 between 1 October and the end of February, you can leave at the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year.
You can leave school on the last Friday in June, as long as you’ll be 16 by the end of that school year’s summer holidays.
If you turn 16 during the school year (between 1 September and 1 July) you can leave school after 30 June.
If you turn 16 between 2 July and 31 August, you can’t leave school until 30 June the following year.