Blog article

Did you get a pay rise? National minimum and living wages go up

The national living wage and minimum wage went up on 1 April 2018 and the government wants to make sure the UK’s lowest paid workers receive the correct rates of pay.

The new living wage, for people aged 25 and over, is £7.83 per hour (previously £7.50). And the new national minimum wage rates (for people below 25) are:

  • Apprentices: £3.70 (previously £3.50)
  • Under 18: £4.20 (previously £4.05)
  • 18-20: £5.90 (previously £5.60)
  • 21-24: £7.38 (previously £7.05)

The hourly rate for apprentices applies if they’re under 19, or aged over 19 but in their first year of an apprenticeship. On completion of the first year, apprentices aged 19 or over are entitled to the national minimum or living wage in their age band. So a 22 year old apprentice would get £7.38 an hour for the second year of their apprenticeship.

Employers need to ensure they’re paying their staff the correct wage, as it’s against the law to pay below the national minimum or living wage. And any employer who discovers they’ve been paying their workers below the correct rate must pay any arrears immediately.

Employees are also being asked to check that they’re being paid the correct amount, and can get help and advice with calculating rates at The site also has tips and advice for employers – with some of the common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Both employees and employers can call the ACAS helpline on 0300 123 1100 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) for help and advice on any concerns they have about the national minimum wage or living wage.

Written by Jennifer Banks
Updated: 03/04/2018