New national minimum wage rates come into effect

Published: 21 April 2017

The new rates for the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage have now come into effect.

This table shows the new rates compared with those in force since October.



25 and over

21 to 24

18 to 20

Under 18


October 2016






April 2017






Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either aged under 19 or if they are aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.

They are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they are aged 19 or over and have completed the first year of their apprenticeship.

It’s a criminal offence for employers to not pay someone the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, or to fake payment records.

Employers who fail to pay the minimum rates face penalties of 200% of the amount owed, unless the arrears are paid within 14 days. Offenders also risk being named by the government.

The maximum fine for non-payment of the minimum rates is £20,000 per worker. Employers who fail to pay can be banned from being a company director for up to 15 years.

HM Revenue and Customs officers have the right to carry out checks at any time and ask to see payment records. They can also investigate employers if a worker complains to them.

It’s the employer’s responsibility to keep records proving that they are paying the minimum wage - most employers use their payroll records as proof. All records have to be kept for 3 years.

Please contact Matthew Sigsworth in our Dispute Resolution Team if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.