What is Minimum Wage in The UK? – Full Guide
5 mins read

What is Minimum Wage in The UK? – Full Guide

The concept of minimum wage is followed by almost all the countries, especially the developed and developing ones. However, this ‘privilege’ of minimum wage is not seen in underdeveloped countries, where the workers are made to work extremely hard without any predefined or standard payment system. But this is not our discussion of the topic (at least today). What we are going to discuss today is about minimum wage in the UK. if you have started working in the UK or maybe you are willing to shift to the UK from your own country to make a living and a career, then you must be wondering.

“What is the minimum wage in the UK?”

Here in this blog, we are going to cover every aspect of the wage system in the UK.

What is The Minimum Wage?

I think you all must know what minimum wage is. But this is just for reference.

The minimum wage means the least number of wages or salaries that an employer should pay its employees so that they can survive in that country.

The prevailing minimum wage in a country depends upon

(i) The Cost of living in that country.

(ii) It changes with the rise in inflation.

(iii) The number of hours that an employee works. 

(iv) It is usually set or predefined by the government of that nation. 

The minimum wage in a country may differ from state to state due to different costs of living. So now you know what minimum wage is let us see what is the minimum wage in the UK.

What Is The Minimum Wage in The UK?

Minimum wages in the UK are based on wage per hour, which means that the minimum wage is determined by the number of hours you work.

It is reviewed by the government of the UK annually in April and is reviewed on the advice of the Low Pay Commission, an independent body.

There Are 3 Wage Systems in The UK Namely:

(i) UK minimum wage system.

(ii) UK national living wage system.

(iii) London living wage system.

On which basis should an employee be paid? Let us discuss that.

UK Minimum Wage System

It is applied to employees up to the age of 25. The amount of minimum wage that an employee will get depends upon his or her age. However, it is important that to fall under this wage system the employee must be at least school-leaving age, which generally is 16 or 17 years old in the UK.

Here is a chart showing the minimum wage distribution according to age.

Age Living wage 2021-23
16-17 years old £4.81 an hour
18-20 years old £6.83 an hour
21-22 years old  £9.18 an hour
Apprentices  £4.81 an hour

UK National Living Wage

This wage system was introduced in April 2016, according to this wage system any employee who is 25 or older should be paid according to UK national living wage, which is around 50% higher than the minimum wage. UK national wage as of 2021-22 is £9.50 an hour.

London Living Wages

The people living in London have a high cost of living because of the high rates prevailing there hence it is important to set a wage system, especially for London. The London living wage is £11.05.

What Are The Wages For Ex-Parts in The UK?

If you are an ex-pat in the UK then you will enjoy the UK national living wage which as of 2023 is  £9.50 an hour.

What To Do If You Are Underpaid in The UK?

While most companies strictly abide by the wage rules in the UK there are still some companies that can exploit their employees, this is a clear violation of UK labour Laws.

If you think that you are getting underpaid then you should first talk to your contractor about why are you being underpaid and then ask him to raise your wages.

If this doesn’t work you can ask for your payment records and contact the ACAS helpline.

The employer can be fined by the government’s employment and tax department and if it seems necessary they can also take your company to court on your behalf.

You can check the citizen advice website for guidance if you think that you are underpaid.


So this was all about the wage system in the UK. Remember that you should be paid for the work that you have done, and if you don’t raise your voice against the exploitation then no one will come to the rescue. Remedies are there for your rescue but all you need to do is use them.

You May Like Also:

4 thoughts on “What is Minimum Wage in The UK? – Full Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *