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Workers must be at least school leaving age to receive the National Minimum Wage. They must be 25 or over to receive the National Living Wage.

Contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding.

Workers are also entitled to the correct minimum wage if they are:

  • part-time
  • casual labourers, for example someone hired for one day
  • agency workers
  • workers and homeworkers paid by the number of items they make
  • apprentices
  • trainees, workers on probation
  • disabled workers
  • agricultural workers
  • foreign workers
  • seafarers
  • offshore workers

 

Apprentices

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they are either:

  • under 19
  • 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Apprentices over 19 who have completed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the  national minimum wage

Not Entitlement to the minimum wage

The following types of workers are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage:

  • self-employed peoplerunning their own business
  • company directors
  • volunteersor voluntary workers
  • workers on a government employment programme, such as the Work Programme
  • members of the armed forces
  • 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, are treated as one of the family and are not charged for meals or accommodation, for example au pairs
  • 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
  • workers on government pre-apprenticeships schemes
  • people on the following European Union (EU) programmes: Leonardo da Vinci, Erasmus+, Comenius
  • people working on a Jobcentre Plus Work trial for up to 6 weeks
  • share fishermen
  • prisoners
  • people living and working in a religious community

Employers who offer internships (sometimes called ‘work placements’ or ‘work experience’) should check if the person is entitled to the minimum wage.

 

Voluntary work

You are classed as doing voluntary work if you can only get certain limited benefits (for example reasonable travel or lunch expenses) and you are working for a:

  • charity
  • voluntary organisation or associated fundraising body
  • statutory body

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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