National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage – All You Need to Know

What is National Minimum Wage?

The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is the minimum pay per hour most workers are entitled to by law. The rate will depend on an employee’s age and whether they are an apprentice or not.


What is National Living Wage?

The Government’s National Living Wage (NLW) was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over, and is currently set at £7.50 per hour.


The rules surrounding National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) can be complex. Here at Vanguard Law we will work alongside you to ensure that you are in compliance with NMW and NLW laws and help resolve any challenges you may face.


The rates of both the NMW and NLW are set to change every April starting with April 2017.

The rates from 1st April 2017 will be:

  • £7.50 per hour  – 25 years and older
  • £7.05 per hour  – 21-24 years old
  • £5.60 per hour  – 18-20 years old
  • £4.05 per hour  – 16-17 years old
  • £3.50 per hour  – For apprentices under 19 or 19 and over who are in their first year of apprenticeship.


The NWM & NLW is reviewed yearly by the government, who are advised by the independent body Low Pay Commission.

Failure to comply with National Minimum Wage Regulations and National Living Wage can result in organisations being issued with Notice of Underpayment, penalties and can result in criminal sanctions. An employee can make a complaint to HMRC who will investigate the complaint. If HMRC find that an employer hasn’t paid at least the National Minimum Wage, they can send a notice of arrears plus a penalty for not paying the correct rate of pay to the worker. This can have a lasting and damaging effect on the reputation of the organisation.


There are those who, of course, are not entitled to the NMW/NLW, for example:

* Self-employed people

* Volunteers

* Company directors

* Family members/people who live in the family home of the employer who undertake household tasks.


At Vanguard Law, with over a decade of experience in the judicial system we have the extensive legal and sector knowledge to support our clients with all aspects of National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage law.

If you find yourself in need of a solicitor get in touch with us today on 01282 792577 or email us at