Understanding the Minimum Wage in the UK

Understanding the minimum wage guidelines in the UK can be a bit tricky at first.

There are a few different base wages set, such as the UK minimum wage, the UK living wage, and the London living wage. Whether you’re an employer or an employee; it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with each of these concepts.

An employment lawyer can always advise you. Thus, employees can ensure they are paid what they are owed and employers can ensure they are paying their workers the appropriate amount.

What Is The UK Minimum Wage?

The first and easiest to understand is the standard minimum wage in the UK. It is also referred to as the national minimum wage (NMW UK).

This is the minimum wage that any job in the UK can offer to pay its employees. Each year, the government reviews this wage and decides whether or not it needs to be altered.

They are assisted by the Low Pay Commission, which is an independent organisation. This review takes place every April.

All workers in the UK are at least entitled to the NMW UK. However, there are certain people who are entitled to an even higher minimum wage.

The NMW UK specifically relates to workers who are under the age of 25. After turning 25, the minimum wage that they can be paid actually increases.

It’s also important to note that the NMW gradually increases between the ages of 16 and 25 within certain age brackets.

Workers under the age of 18 receive the lowest NMW. Between 18 and 20 there is an increase and between 21 and 24 there is an increase.

The Living Wage

The national living wage (NLW) is considered the lowest wage that a worker over the age of 25 can be paid in the UK.

In general, the NLW is around 50 per cent higher than the NMW UK. For example, in 2018, the NMW was £4.20. This was for a worker who was under the age of 18. At the age of 25, a worker could receive the national living wage, which was equal to £7.83.

The NLW and the NMW UK are set by the government and are carefully controlled.

However, the cost of living in London is much higher than in other areas in the UK. This has led to some controversy because many people believe the living wage in London should be increased accordingly.

The Living Wage Foundation is an organisation that calculates the cost of living in various parts of the UK.

They then determine what they believe the living wage should be in those areas based on the cost of living. Recently, they claimed that the NLW should be £8.75 but that there should also be a London living wage of £10.20.

These “real” living wages listed by the Living Wage Foundation cannot be enforced legally. However, more than 4,000 employers in the UK have agreed to pay these wages voluntarily.

You should speak to your potential employer to determine which living wage they follow if you are at the age to receive the NLW.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Specific legal advice should be sort tailored to the individual circumstances in all cases.

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    We can be contacted 24 hours a day.
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