0208 432 3310 / 0208 240 4498

If you would like to receive a regular summary of our news updates please sign up here!

Who qualifies for the minimum wage

As you would expect there are a range of conditions that affect the answer to this question. We have reproduced below a summary of the main conditions to be observed.

Workers must be at least school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage. They must be 25 or over to get the National Living Wage.

Contracts for payments below the minimum wage are not legally binding. The worker is still entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage.

Workers are also entitled to the correct minimum wage if they are:

casual labourers, for example someone hired for one day
agency workers
workers and homeworkers paid by the number of items they make
trainees, workers on probation
disabled workers
agricultural workers
foreign workers
offshore workers


Apprentices are entitled to the apprentice rate if they’re either:

under 19
19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship


Apprentices over 19 who have completed the first year of their apprenticeship are entitled to the correct minimum wage for their age.

The following types of workers aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage:

self-employed people running their own business
company directors
volunteers or voluntary workers
workers on a government employment programme, such as the Work Programme
members of the armed forces
family members of the employer living in the employer’s home
non-family members living in the employer’s home who share in the work and leisure activities, are treated as one of the family and aren’t charged for meals or accommodation, for example au pairs
workers younger than school leaving age (usually 16)
higher and further education students on a work placement up to 1 year
workers on government pre-apprenticeships schemes
people on the following European Union programmes: Leonardo da Vinci, Youth in Action, Erasmus, Comenius
people working on a Jobcentre Plus Work trial for 6 weeks
share fishermen
people living and working in a religious community

This entry was posted in Business. Bookmark the permalink.