National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates 2021

As of the 1st April the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage rates increase, here’s your guide to what is changing.

These rates are for the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age). The rates change on 1 April every year.

23 and over 21 to 22 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2021 £8.91 £8.36 £6.56 £4.62 £4.30

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 23 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 22 and under

Apprentices

Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

  • aged under 19
  • aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

Example: An apprentice aged 21 in the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £4.30.

Apprentices are entitled to the minimum wage for their age if they both:

  • are aged 19 or over
  • have completed the first year of their apprenticeship

ExampleAn apprentice aged 21 who has completed the first year of their apprenticeship is entitled to a minimum hourly rate of £8.36.

Previous rates

The following rates were for the National Living Wage (previously for those aged 25 and over) and the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) from April 2016.

From 1 April 2021 the National Living Wage was extended to 23 and 24 year olds.

25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2020 to March 2021 £8.72 £8.20 £6.45 £4.55 £4.15
April 2019 to March 2020 £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
April 2018 to March 2019 £7.83 £7.38 £5.90 £4.20 £3.70
April 2017 to March 2018 £7.50 £7.05 £5.60 £4.05 £3.50
October 2016 to March 2017 £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40
April 2016 to September 2016 £7.20 £6.70 £5.30 £3.87 £3.30

How to check you are getting the Minimum wage

You can use the minimum wage calculator to check whether the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage is being paid.

What to do if you think your wages are wrong

Contact Acas if you’re not getting the National Minimum Wage and think you should be.

For more information, please email info@youthemployment.org.uk or call 01536 513388.

Looking for Youth Friendly Employers?

Find out more about some of the organisations offering high quality training and work opportunities to young people. Your next dream role could be just a click away…

Latest Articles

See more

Insights Evening (for parents) – Opportunities & Diversity at HSBC

Not all banks are the same. At HSBC, our people span many cultures, communities and continents. We are committed to […]

Insights Day (for young people) – Opportunities & Diversity at HSBC

Not all banks are the same. At HSBC, our people span many cultures, communities and continents. We are committed to […]

Finding Employment & Training : Youth Voice Forum

The Youth Voice Forum held its third meeting on Tuesday 13th April to explore how young people navigate finding employment […]

Labour Market Statistics : April 2021

The ONS have released the latest Labour Market Overview covering the months December 2020 – February 2021, there is additional […]