Sunday, March 3, 2024

Apprentices urged to check they’re being paid the correct hourly rate

During National Apprenticeship Week HM Revenue and Customs is encouraging apprentices to make sure they’re being paid the correct hourly rate – since apprentices are the workers most likely to be underpaid according to The Low Pay Commission.

Most workers are legally entitled to the National Minimum Wage, but minimum rates of pay differ, depending on your age and what year of your apprenticeship you’re in.

  • 16 to 18 years old and in an apprenticeship = £5.28 per hour
  • 19 and over, first year apprentice = £5.28 per hour
  • 19 or over and have completed the first year of an apprenticeship? Entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage rate for their age.
  • Rates change on 1 April each year. Search ‘national minimum wage rates’ on GOV.UK.

Common mistakes made by employers include not paying apprentices for the time they spend training, or for all the time worked; and not increasing the hourly rate after the annual increase, or when the apprentice has completed their first year.

Those who think they are not receiving the correct minimum wage:

  • Speak with your employer or tutor if you are happy to do so.
  • If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, raise the issue with HMRC online at https://www.gov.uk/minimum-wage-complaint. This can be done any time – day or night.
  • Call Acas on 0300 123 1100 for confidential advice or the Labour Relations Agency in Northern Ireland on 03300 555 300. Translation services are available.

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