National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

image of copy of National Minimum Wage Act on table

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

The UK has both a National Minimum Wage and a National Living Wage, which rate applies will depend on the circumstances of the employee.

Employees must be at least school leaving age to qualify for the National Minimum Wage.

Rates effective April 2023
The hourly rates effective April 2023 are:
National Living Wage     £10.42 per hour
21-22 Year Old Rate     £10.18 per hour
18-20 Year Old Rate     £7.49 per hour
Under 18 Old Rate     £5.28 per hour
Apprentice Rate: £5.28 per hour

This video helps to explain the various rates.

Real Living Wage

There is also a voluntary scheme called the ”Real Living Wage” which is set by The Living Wage Foundation / Citizens UK at different rates to those required by the government. Details at:
For clarity, the "National Living Wage" is a legal requirement, the "Real Living Wage" is a voluntary scheme that some employers opt to use.


Further information:

ACAS: Entitlement to Minimum Wage / Living Wage
Gov.UK: Minimum Wage / Living Wage rates
Information from HM Government