What is the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage for students?
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the lowest amount which employers should legally pay workers who are entitled to it. You should note that there is also a National Living Wage to be paid to workers age 25 and over who are not in the first year of their apprenticeship.
So you should know your rights, and if you think you are not being paid enough, what you can do about it!
How much is the National Living Wage?
It is £8.21 per hour from 1 April 2019, provided you are aged 25 or over and not in the first year of your apprenticeship. You can read more about this on GOV.UK.
How much is the NMW?
There are four NMW rates and they change on 1 April each year. The rates are:
|Age||From 1 April 2018||From 1 April 2019|
|£ per hour||£ per hour|
|Age 25 and over (National Living Wage)||7.83||8.21|
|21 to 24||7.38||7.70|
|Age 16 or 17||4.20||4.35|
|*For apprentices – payable to all apprentices under the age of 19 and to any apprentice in the first year of their apprenticeship, regardless of age|
The NMW rules are straightforward where you are paid on an hourly basis for the number of hours worked each week or month. The rules are more complex where you are paid per task you perform or piece of work you do (known as ‘piece work’). You must be paid either at least the NMW for every hour worked or on the basis of a ‘fair rate’ for each task or piece of work you do.
We cannot give all of the rules, but aim to give you a general idea, highlight some particular student issues and point you in the direction of further information.
On our NMW factsheet we cover:
- How much is the NMW?
- Who should get the NMW?
- Do I have to have a written contract to get the NMW?
- What is a ‘worker’ for the NMW?
- Live-in services – au pairs, nannies etc
- I am an intern/on work experience. Do I get the NMW?
- How do you calculate the NMW?
- Accommodation – students working at their college and living on campus
- Working out the NMW sounds complicated – where can I get help?
- What do I do if I do not think I am getting the NMW?
- Complaining via the authorities
- Complaining to your employer/employment tribunal
- Should I worry about losing my job if I complain?