Pay, the National Minimum Wage, tax and national insurance

Employers must pay you at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) if you have reached the official school leaving date

The rates are updated every April.

National Minimum Wage

From April 2022 the NMW is:

  • Apprentice £4.81 an hour
  • Age 16-17 - £4.81 an hour
  • Age 18-20 - £6.83 an hour
  • Age 21-22 - £9.18 an hour
  • Age 23+ - £9.50 an hour (National Living Wage).

Most employers pay more.


If you are not receiving the National Minimum Wage, contact the ACAS Helpline: 0300 123 1100.

Once you earn over a certain amount you will have to pay Income Tax and National Insurance. Your employer will take this money out of your pay before you receive your wage.

Your employer will ask you for your National Insurance (NI) number when you start work. This is a personal number you will receive around your 16th birthday. It is very important, you will be asked for it throughout your working life. If you haven’t got one by the end of June in Year 11, call the NI Registration Helpline on 0300 200 3500.

For more information visit the GOV.UK website.

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