National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage 2021/22

From 1 April 2021, the National Living Wage will increase to £8.91 per hour. The National Minimum Wage will range from £4.30 to £8.36 per hour, depending on age and if the person employed is an apprentice.

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National Living Wage

The age threshold for the National Living Wage has fallen from 25 to 23 from 1 April 2021. The National Living Wage applies to everyone aged 23 and above who isn’t in the first year of an apprenticeship. The National Living Wage from 1 April 2021 is £8.91.

If you are 23 years old 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 £4.30 per hour, as per the National Minimum Wage.

National Minimum Wage

The precursor to National Living Wage, the National Minimum Wage now only applies to people in employment who are aged 16-22, or are first-year apprentices.
From 1 April 2021, the rates are:

Age Minimum Wage, per hour
16-17 £4.62
18-20 £6.56
21-22 £8.36
Apprentice* £4.15

*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.

Please note – prior to the Autumn Budget 2021 Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that from 1 April 2022 the National Minimum Wage will rise to:

  • National Living Wage for over-23s: from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour
  • National Minimum Wage for those aged 21-22: from £8.36 to £9.18
  • National Minimum Wage for 18 to 20-year-olds: from £6.56 to £6.83
  • National Minimum Wage for under-18s: from £4.62 to £4.81
  • The Apprentice rate: from £4.30 to £4.81

(The apprentice rate applies to people aged under 19, or people over 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship. If apprentices are older than 19 and have finished the first year of their apprenticeship, they are entitled to the relevant minimum wage for their age group.)

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

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