The current National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates, applicable until October 2013, are:
£6.19 an hour for adults;
£4.98 an hour for 18-20 year olds;
£3.68 an hour for 16-17 year olds;
and £2.65 an hour for apprentices. This covers apprentices who are under 19, or 19 and over and in the first year of their apprenticeship.
Failing to pay employees the relevant minimum wage rate could result in penalties from HMRC or a claim in a tribunal from the worker. Workers are entitled to the minimum wage, even if they have accepted a contract agreeing to be paid at a lower rate. The Low Pay Commission, which makes recommendations for the minimum wage, also helps to determine the accommodation offset, which currently stands at £4.82 per day.
BWF members are reminded that, when employing someone as an apprentice, they will need to make sure that the contract differentiates between an apprentice and a junior employee, who would have a different set of employment rights and be entitled to minimum wage or over, regardless of how long they have been employed.
A 'traditional' apprentice contract will also bestow upon the employer a duty to train, meaning that they cannot simply use the bulk of the apprentice's time to cover odd tasks within the workshop, unless they are relevant to the type of work that the apprentice is training to do.
The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, today announced that from 1st October 2013, these rates are due to change:
The adult rate will increase by 12p to £6.31 an hour
The rate for apprentices will increase by 3p to £2.68 an hour.
The development rate for 18-20 year olds will increase by 5p to at £5.03 an hour
The rate for 16-17 year olds will increase by 4p to £3.72 an hour