The start of the new academic year often coincides with an increase in the number of young people starting an apprenticeship. Data shows that nearly a fifth of apprentices at Level two and Level three are paid less than the appropriate National Minimum Wage (NMW) or National Living Wage (NLW).
The NLW and NMW rates increased on 1 April. The new rates must be applied from the first day of the first pay period on or after 1 April 2018 and are as follows:
Apprentices are entitled to the Apprentice rate of £3.70 per hour (previously £3.50 per hour) if they are:
Aged under 19
Aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.
Apprentices aged 19 or over who have completed the first year of apprenticeship are entitled to the age-related minimum wage:
– 19 to 20 year olds are entitled to at least £5.90 per hour
– 21 to 24 year olds are entitled to at least £7.38 per hour
– 25 year olds and over are entitled to at least £7.83 per hour.
The Government is currently running a campaign advising apprentices to check their pay and complain if they are being paid incorrectly. If you are not paying the correct rate you may receive a Notice of Underpayment from HMRC, setting out the arrears to be paid to your workers together with a penalty. Employers may also be publicly named.