National Minimum Wage

National Minimum Wage: What Apprentices Need to Know

The Government are running a campaign to increase awareness of the National Minimum Wage.As an apprentice, you are entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. We are confident that all the employers tpm places apprentices with are very diligent about this and will be paying you the correct rate of pay. However, sometimes mistakes are inadvertently made. Please make sure you know how much you should be paid. If you think you are being underpaid, speak to your manager at work or find out more information.

Here are some common mistakes that can lead to minimum wage underpayment:

  • If you’re aged 19 and over and have completed the first year of your apprenticeship, you are entitled to the higher minimum wage rate for your age group, not just the £4.30 apprentice rate
  • You should only be paid the apprentice rate of £4.30 once you have officially started your apprenticeship and not after it ends
  • You must be paid for all training time no matter whether this training takes place at work, college or elsewhere

Find out more, including the higher minimum wage rates for the different age groups, on the Check your pay website.

Myth buster for apprentices

Myth: Training time doesn’t count as working time.
Truth: All training time counts as working time for minimum wage purposes and must be paid at least the minimum wage rate.

Myth: All apprentices should be paid the £4.30 apprentice rate.
Truth: If you’re an apprentice aged 19 and over and have completed your first year, you should get at least £6.56 per hour, if not more, depending on your age.

Myth: If you’re paid the correct minimum wage rate, you don’t need to worry about National Minimum Wage underpayment.
Truth: You may be surprised that you could still be underpaid if you’re not paid for all the time you worked or if your employer is making wage deductions.

Myth: Reporting underpayment to HMRC is too difficult and not worth your time.
Truth: Reporting can be done online and takes less than 5 minutes. From April 2020 to March 2021, workers received over £16.7m in back pay.

Myth: It’s ok for your employer to pay you the £4.30 apprentice rate before or after your apprenticeship starts/ends.
Truth: If you haven’t started your apprenticeship, you are legally entitled to receive the higher minimum wage rate for your age group. You can check the rates on the Check Your Pay website