Minimum wage

Minimum wage is the minimum that you are entitled to be paid for your work.

There are three levels of minimum wage, and the rates from 1st October 2007 are:
  • £5.52 per hour for workers aged 22 years and older
  • A development rate of £4.60 per hour for workers aged 18-21 inclusive
  • £3.40 per hour for all workers under the age of 18, who are no longer of compulsory school age.
Development Rate
The development rate for workers age 22 and over was abolished for pay reference periods starting on or after 1 October 2006. From that date, all workers aged 22 and over who qualify for the national minimum wage will be entitled to the main rate of national minimum wage. This applies even where the worker was previously in receipt of the development rate for those aged 22 and over and had been receiving that rate for less than 6 months.

Compulsory School Age
In England and Wales: a person is no longer of compulsory school age after the last Friday of June of the school year in which their 16th birthday occurs.

In Scotland: pupils whose 16th birthday falls between 1 March and 30 September may not leave before the 31 May of that year. Pupils aged 16 on or between 1 October and the last day of February may not leave until the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year.In Northern Ireland: a person is no longer of compulsory school age after the 30th June of the school year in which their 16th birthday occurs.

Accommodation Offset
The daily rate of the accommodation offset is £4.30 (£30.10) per week) for each day that accommodation is provided.

For more information about the Minimum Wage contact your nearest Citizens Advice Bureau, details can be found in the Phone Book or visit
Deduction from wages

By law you should receive a pay slip every time your wages are paid. Your pay slip contains a break down of your salary and any deductions that have automatically been taken from your salary.

From the money you earn your employer can lawfully deduct;
  • National Insurance - These deductions are mandatory and provide benefits to you when you need them
  • National Insurance
All employees within the United Kingdom require National Insurance numbers. National Insurance numbers can be obtained from Jobcentre Plus
  • Tax - The Government deducts tax from your wages to pay for public services such as the National Health Service, roads and education. If you feel you are paying too much tax, contact your local tax office and give them your national insurance number, if your tax has been miscalculated you may be entitled to claim some money back.
Other deductions can be taken from your wage but these can only be done so with your agreement. Such deductions may be for accommodation or transport. Make sure that you check these deductions are in keeping with market rate and that you are not being charged more than if you were to rent private accommodation or make your own way to work via public transport. Be aware of exploitation.
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