National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage Rates 2018

From 1 April 2018, the National Living Wage will increase to £7.83 per hour. The National Minimum Wage will range from £3.70 to £7.38 per hour, depending on age and whether or not the person employed is an apprentice.

National Living Wage

Announced in the 2015 Budget, the National Living Wage applies to everyone aged 25 and above who isn’t in the first year of an apprenticeship.

If you are 25 and above and are in the first year of an apprenticeship, the Living Wage does not apply – instead, the minimum you can be paid is £3.70 per hour, as per the National Minimum Wage.

At the time of the National Living Wage announcement, the UK Government set a target for it to reach around £9 per hour by 2020. However, any increase in the actual rate of the National Living Wage is determined by the independent Low Pay Commission, that take into account inflation and feedback from employers.

National Minimum Wage

The precursor to National Living Wage, the National Minimum Wage now only applies to people in employment who are aged 16-24, or are first-year apprentices.

From 1 April 2018, the rates are:

Age National Minimum Wage, Per Hour
16 – 17 years old £4.20p
18 – 20 years old £5.90p
21 – 24 years old £7.38p
Apprentice* £3.70p

*Apprentice Rate

The Apprentice rate will apply to Apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those aged 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.

If you have any questions about the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage increases, please feel free to contact a member of the Chiene + Tait Payroll team at or call 0131 558 5800.