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The national minimum wage isn’t optional.

It’s your responsibility to stay on top of the national minimum wage (NMW) and national living wage (NLW) rates to make sure you are paying your employees the correct amount.  

Let’s take a look at the NMW and NLW rates for 2024/25 and answer some frequently asked questions. 

The national minimum wage in 2024/2025

It’s a good time to be a UK employee as the national living wage has increased to £11.44 (from £10.42 in 2023.) 

There’s also been an adjustment to the rate system this year. The national living wage now applies to everyone aged 21 and over. This is a noticeable difference from the 2023/24 rate, where the NLW applied to those aged 23 and over, while individuals aged 21 to 22 had their own rate range. 

Here are the 2024/2025 rates for the national minimum wage and national living wage:  

Category   Rate   Percentage increase from 23/24 
21 and over  £11.44 (NLW)  9.8%  
18 – 20    £8.60   14.8%  
Under 18   £6.40   21.2%  
Apprentices  £6.40   21.2%  


Who is eligible for the national minimum wage?

In the UK, nearly all workers over the school leaving age (16 years old) are eligible for the national minimum wage, including part-time, temporary, and casual workers. However, there are exceptions such as the self-employed, company directors, and volunteers who are not entitled to it by law.

What is the real Living Wage?

The real Living Wage, which is managed by the Living Wage Foundation, is an unofficial hourly rate determined by the charity’s assessment of what people need to earn. It applies to UK workers (aged 18 and above) but is not a legal requirement, meaning you as a business owner decide whether to pay it or not.

Currently, over 460,000 employees from 14,000 companies receive this wage.  In London, the rate is £13.15 per hour, and £12 per hour for the rest of the UK.

How do salary sacrifice schemes affect minimum wage?

A salary sacrifice scheme, also known as salary exchange, is an agreement between you and your employee. Its goal is to reduce their pre-tax salary in exchange for non-cash benefits like childcare or healthcare.  

There’s no set salary sacrifice limit, but you must ensure that any deductions don’t take your employee’s salary below the national minimum wage. 

Pay your employees the right amount every time with JPS

We know that staying on top of payroll legislation is challenging to say the least, but with the right software it becomes much easier to handle. 

Our HMRC compliant, cloud-based, payroll software empowers you to run your payroll with complete accuracy, efficiency, and control.

Book a personalised demo to see how we can help.