News & Views

Paying the Minimum? Wage rates to increase in April 2018

National minimum wage and national living wage rates are set to increase on 1 April 2018. While all employers should ensure that their pay levels meet or exceed these rates, employers in the retail industry will be particularly affected.

The rate of pay a worker is entitled to largely depends on their age – people over 25 are entitled to the national living wage, which is a “boosted” amount of the minimum wage. Apprentices are in a separate category, and generally have lower entitlements.

The Low Pay Commission, who advise the government on their yearly review of the applicable rates, say that this will be the largest increase in a decade for 18–20 and 21–24-year olds, with a respective rise of 4.7% and 5.4%.  The table below shows the new rates, applicable from 1 April:


25+ £7.50 £7.83
21–24 £7.05 £7.38
18–20 £5.60 £5.90
Under 18 (but over school leaving age) £4.04 £4.20
Apprentice* £3.50 £3.70


*Apprentices will either be under 19 or over 19 and in their first year of an apprenticeship.

Failure to pay the national minimum and living wages could result in an employer being fined and possibly even publicly named by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

If you need help in understanding your obligations to pay the national minimum or living wages, please contact our employment team.

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