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National Living Wage

The National Living Wage came into effect on the 1st April 2016. The level at which the payment has been set has been increased on various occasions since then.

All workers are entitled to receive the National Living Wage from the age of 23 years, be they full time or part time workers.

The rate from the 6th April 2023 is £10.42 per hour.

It is important to note that the existence of the National Living Wage does not supersede the National Minimum Wage (see separate Factsheet on this). The National Minimum Wage continues to exist. Effectively the National Living Wage is simply a top-up for those workers aged 23 or over.

The rate of the National Minimum Wage is reviewed every year

The rates from April 2023 are £10.18 for those aged 21-22, £7.49 for those aged 18 to 20, and £5.28 for those aged 16 and 17. The apprentice rate is £5.28.

The Low Pay Commission is responsible for recommending any changes to the amount of the National Living Wage.

There are penalties for the failure to pay the National Living Wage. The penalty from the 1st April 2016 to employers will be to pay 200% of the money owed to the worker that failed to receive the National Living Wage (subject to a maximum penalty of £20,000). In addition, any employer that is found guilty of failing to pay may be disqualified as a company director for up to 15 years. An enforcement team has been set up within HM Revenue & Customs to pursue any criminal prosecutions in respect of the National Living Wage.


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