Your pay at work

Pay – minimum wage 

What am I entitled to?

You are entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) if you’re aged under 21 or an apprentice, and the National Living Wage (NLW) if you’re aged 21 or over.  

Your employer must pay you a minimum amount on average for the hours you work. 

How much is the minimum wage? 

The current hourly rates (from April, 2024) are:

Apprentice  – £6.40
Under 18 – £6.40
Age 18 to 20 – £8.60 

Age 21 or over – £11.44

How can I check if I’m being paid fairly? 

You can use the Government’s minimum wage checker to check you’re being paid enough.

You can also use this tool from Total Jobs to see average pay for different sectors and roles.

What if I’m not being paid the right amount?  

If you are not being paid the minimum wage for your age you might feel frustrated and unsure what to do. You do have a number of options and there are places where you can get support and advice.  

 You can:

  • raise the issue at work informally  
  • make a formal claim to an employment tribunal (a specialist court which makes decisions in legal disputes around employment law)  
  • or take the issue to HMRC (the Revenue and Customs department  of the UK Government). 

Check out this advice from ACAS –  an independent organisation who provide free and impartial advice on employment rights.

They also have a free helpline – you can talk to someone about your options and get some advice on how to talk to your employer about the issue.

You could also speak to a Work It Out coach to help with preparing for a difficult conversation:

Get coaching support

How can I manage my money if I’m living on a low wage? 

If you are having difficulty managing your money you are not alone. We’re hearing that lots of young women are struggling to make their cash last.  

There are lots of organisations out there who can offer you support and advice. There is a list of places where you can access help around money, debt, benefits, bills and more on our website here

Get support and help with your money

What is the Real Living Wage? 

You might have also have heard of other rates of Living Wage which are different from the National Living Wage stated above. This can be a bit confusing but it the main difference is that whilst the National Living Wage is a legal minimum employers must pay to everyone over the age of 21, the real living wage is not legally enforceable.  

The real living wage is the level of pay that has been independently calculated as being what people need to get by and meet the everyday cost of living. At the moment this is £11.95 in London and £10.90 in the rest of the country. Although employers do not have to pay these rates of pay, more and more employers are choosing to. In doing so they are committing to making sure their staff can meet the everyday cost of living.

You can find employers who have committed to paying the real living wage by looking at the Living Wage Foundation’s list of accredited employers.