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What is the UK minimum wage?

In the UK, the national minimum wage is the lowest rate of pay that an employee can be paid for. There are currently three different hourly rates for the minimum wage. £5.93* is the rate for workers who are aged 21 and over, £4.92* is the rate for workers aged between 18 and 20, £3.64* for workers aged 16-17 and £2.50* is an apprentice rate. Read on this article to know about the minimum wage in the UK.

Entitlement to the National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage is a legal entitlement if undertaking work, and all employers are obliged to pay this rate, regardless: - If they are paid on a weekly or monthly basis - If they work full-time, part-time, or on shifts - If they work on your employers' premises or elsewhere - Of the size of an employing organisation - Of the location of the business Employees are still entitled to the National Minimum Wage if you sign a contract which states that you will be paid at a lower rate. The contract has no legal effect, and employees must be paid at the rate of the National Minimum Wage.

Who is not entitled to the National Minimum Wage

People who are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage There are a few groups of people who are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage and these include:
Self-employed Volunteers and volunteer workers Volunteers do not have a contract with an employer and agree to undertake unpaid work. Voluntary workers are different from volunteers. However, for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage, to be a voluntary worker, you must hold a contract of employment in order to carry out work for a voluntary or associated fund raising organisation. A voluntary worker only receives limited expenses. Company directors Company directors are legally office holders, and they are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage. Government supported learning Government schemes Pre-apprenticeship work-based learning schemes offer apprentice wages and are set at their own training rate. Therefore, they do not correlate to the National Minimum Wage rates. Government employment programmes are sometimes offered to people to build up work experience or to train to a specified level. Other groups Other groups who are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage include: - European community - Youth in action - Comenius programmes - Those living in employers household, undertaking work for friends or neighbours - Members of the armed forces - Share fishermen - Prisoners - People living in a religious or other community. * The rates provided in this article are current at 09.08.11, and the figures were obtained from the Direct.gov website.

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