New National Minimum and Living Wage rates come into effect

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The new National Minimum and Living Wage rates came into effect on 1 April. The new rates are:

· £8.21 per hour for ages 25 and over
· £7.70 per hour for ages 21 to 24
· £6.15 per hour for ages 18 to 20
· £4.35 per hour for school leaving age to 17
· £3.90 per hour for apprentices.

The new rates apply to the next pay reference period that begins on or after the date a rate increase begins or when an employee reaches a new age bracket.

For example, this means that an employee paid on the 20th of each month will start to receive the new rate of minimum wage from 21 April onwards.

If a worker receives above NMW there is no legal obligation on an employer to increase their pay when the NMW rate increases.

There are several people who are not entitled to the NMW or NLW. These include:

· self-employed people
· volunteers or voluntary workers
· company directors
· members of the armed forces
· family members, or people who live in the family home of the employer who undertake household tasks
· work experience students, depending on the length of their placement.

All other workers including pieceworkers, home workers, agency workers, commission workers, part-time workers and casual workers must receive at least the NMW or NLW.

The apprenticeship rate only applies to apprentices aged under 19, and those who are 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship.

Apprentices aged 19 or over in their second year of apprenticeship must receive the national minimum wage or national living wage rate to which their age entitles them.

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