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What is the National Minimum Wage in 2022?

THE National Minimum Wage went up in April 2022, giving a pay boost to millions of workers.

But how much you get depends on how old you are – here’s everything you need to know.

The National Minimum Wage rate is set to change again in April 2023

The minimum wage rate is decided by the government each year based on recommendations by the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

Millions benefit from the annual increase, as workers are struggling with the rising inflation and the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Companies are named and shamed if they don’t pay the basic amount required by the law.

So who qualifies for the National Minimum wage and what is the current rate? We explain everything you need to know.



What is the National Minimum Wage?

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour for workers under the age of 23.

The National Living Wage, which is the minimum wage for those over 23, is slightly higher.

But both are different from the Real Living Wage – a voluntary minimum that some employers commit to paying, which is currently £10.90 or £11.95 in London.

These rates increased by 10% in September 2022, benefitting almost 400,000 workers. 

The first National Minimum Wage was set in 1998 by the Labour government.

At this time, the main rate applied to workers aged 22 and over and there was a separate rate for those aged 18-21.

Before that, no official rate existed, although trade unions battled hard to fight their members’ corner.
A separate rate for 16-17-year-olds was introduced in 2004, and in 2010, 21-year-olds became eligible for the adult rate of the NMW.

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