New rates for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) (aged 25 and over) apply from 1 April 2019, and employers must ensure that they implement them accordingly. The rates are as follows:
- 25 and over – £8.21 per hour;
- 21- to 24-year-olds – £7.70 an hour;
- 18- to 20-year-olds – £6.15 an hour;
- under 18s – £4.35 an hour; and
- Apprentice rate – £3.90 an hour.
All other workers including pieceworkers, home workers, agency workers, commission workers, part-time workers and casual workers must receive at least the NMW.
Severe penalties may be imposed for failure to comply with NMW/NLW obligations. Broadly, the penalty percentage which may be imposed for non-compliance is now 200%. The maximum penalty is a hefty £20,000 per worker, although it may be reduced by 50% if the unpaid wages and the penalty are paid within 14 days.
For further information on the NMW, see the GOV.UK website at https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates.