What is the UK Minimum Wage for 2022?

worker learning about the UK minimum wage in 2022 changes

The UK minimum wage in 2022 has changed. Otherwise known as the UK National Minimum Wage, this is the minimum pay, per hour, that an employer can pay an employee. In this article, we’re profiling the latest changes and how they relate to other relevant wage rates.

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What is the National Living Wage?

Tabled in 2015, and officially introduced in 2016, the National Living Wage is a wage scheme designed to be higher than the minimum wage. It applies to all those aged 23 and up who are not in the first year of an apprenticeship. From 1 April 2022, the National Living Wage stands at £9.50 per hour.

What is the National Minimum Wage?

Otherwise understood as the step before the National Living Wage, the National Minimum Wage applies to anyone between the ages of 16-22 (or who is in their first year of an apprenticeship). The National Minimum Wage is dependent on age.

What is the UK Minimum Wage in 2022?

For the vast majority of workers in the UK, the minimum wage in 2022 will see increases across the board across each relevant age range. That includes wages for 16-17-year-olds (£4.81 with a 4.1% increase), 18-20-year-olds (£6.83 with a 4.1% increase) and 21-22-year-olds (£9.18 with a 9.8% increase).

RatePrevious RateApril 2022 Rate Increase
National Living Wage
£9.50
£9.50
6.6%
21-22 Year Old Rate
£8.36£9.189.8%
18-20 Year Old Rate£6.56£6.834.1%
16-17 Year Old Rate £4.62£4.814.1%

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How is the UK Minimum Wage in 2022 Calculated?

The National Minimum Wage is a negotiated settlement based on recommendations from businesses and trade unions.

Who is Entitled to the National Minimum Wage?

Both the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage apply to all workers in the UK. It mainly varies based on age (and apprenticeship status). But, even part-time labourers, casual workers and anyone else providing work in the UK are entitled to the minimum wage.

Who Does Not Qualify for the National Minimum Wage?

The National Minimum Wage in the UK does not apply to those who are self-employed, working on a volunteer basis and family members who share a common residence as their employer and complete household chores.

What is the Apprentice Rate?

The apprentice rate only applies to people under the age of 19, or who are over the age of 19 but are subsequently in the first year of an apprenticeship. The apprentice rate in 2022 is £4.81. If apprentices are both over the age of 19 and no longer in their first year, they are entitled to their relevant minimum wage.

Why Did the UK Minimum Wage in 2022 Change?

Changes to the National Minimum Wage were made following recommendations by the Low Pay Commission (LPC). Their intent is to support both the wages and living standards of low-paid workers across the UK, and are designed to be in line with the general trends of the wider economy.

What is the Real Living Wage?

Introduced as a voluntary wage scheme in the UK, the Real Living Wage is paid by over 10,000 employers in the UK (including Nationwide, Google, Everton FC and Chelsea FC). It is currently £9.90 in the UK and £11.05 in London.

A new Real Living Wage rate will be introduced on 22 September 2022.

UK Wage Rates Compared

National Minimum Wage
National Living WageReal Living Wage
Statutory
StatutoryVoluntary
£9.18
£9.50£9.90
21 and older
23 and older19 and older

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