National Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage is defined as the lowest wage payable to most employees as fixed by law or union agreement.
There are three different rates of Minimum Wage:
Adults’ rate for workers aged 22 and over
Development rate for those aged between 18 and 21
Young people’s rate for those older than school leaving age and younger than 18; you’re under school leaving age until the end of summer term of the school year in which you turn 16.
Almost everyone who works in the UK is legally entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage.
However, you are not entitled to receive the minimum wage if you are in one of the following categories: a worker under school leaving age, genuinely self-employed,company director, prisoner, share fisherman, apprentice, an au pair,in the armed services or a voluntary worker.
Every year National Minimum Wage rates are being reviewed and if any changes take place they come in force from 1st of October. From 1st October 2008, National Minimum Wage increased from £5.52 to £5.73 an hour for adult workers.
The statutory hourly rate for 18 to 22-year-olds has also risen from £4.60 to £4.77, and for 16 and 17-year-olds has lifted from £3.40 to £3.53. Also the accommodation offset rate increased from £4.30(per day) to £4.46(per day).
It is worth mentioning the agricultural workers as different rates apply to them.
Also Piece workers (known as Output workers) are paid by the number of items they produce or tasks they perform rather than the number of hours they work. Piece workers must be paid at least the minimum wage for every hour they work or a fair piece rate for each piece produced or task performed.
Commission workers are paid entirely or partly on the basis of sales made. These ‘commission workers’ must be paid at least the national minimum wage.
Trainees and staff on probation are entitled to be paid at least the national minimum wage.
Very important to know is that the government is planning to introduce new regulations in April that will impose a £5,000 automatic fine on any employer failing to pay the minimum rate.
Serious cases could lead to a prosecution in a Crown Court where there is no limit to the fine that could be set.
If you suspect your employer is paying you less than the Minimum Wage than Taxfile‘s tax accountants in South London and Exeter recommend you downloading this form in order to make a complaint to the HMRC.