National Minimum Wage 2020 - what do you need to know?

News on 28 February 2020

What is the National Minimum Wage in 2020?

All employers need to pay their employees at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The NMW is due to increase on 1st April 2020. This guide will cover, who should be paid it, how much it is, and what to pay Apprentices.

Who is entitled to NMW?

Workers must be at least school leaving age to get the NMW. They will be entitled to the NMW for their age bracket if they are:

  • Part time
  • Casual workers e.g. someone hired for one day
  • Agency workers
  • Workers and homeworkers paid by the number of items they make
  • Apprentices
  • Trainees and workers on probation
  • Disabled workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Foreign workers
  • Seafarers
  • Offshore workers

Remember – It is a criminal offence not to pay someone the NMW or to fake payment records. If HMRC find out that an employer is not paying the correct rates, there can be a fine, the Company can be named and shamed by the Government, and they will be ordered to pay the employee what is owed to them.

What is Apprentice Rate?

Apprentices are entitled to Apprentice Rate if they are either:

  • Under 19; or
  • 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 NMW for their age.

Year Apprentice Rate
April 2019 (current) £3.90
April 2020 £4.15


What is NMW?

This will depend on the employee’s age. The table below shows how much you will need to pay your employees from 1st April 2020.

Under 18 £4.55
18 – 20 £6.45
21 – 24 £8.20
25 and over £8.72


When should the wage increase be paid?

This depends on your ‘pay reference period’ (the period of time that the pay covers).

₋ If you pay your employees weekly, the pay reference period is one week.

₋ If you pay your employees monthly, the pay reference period is one month.

The higher rate starts to apply from the next pay reference period after the increase. This means your employees’ pay may increase straight away.

If your employee (let’s call them Nerys) gets paid monthly on the 10th of each month, the old rate will apply until the 10th April. After this, Nerys will be paid the new rate:

₋ the old rate for 1 April to 10 April

₋ the new rate for 11 April to 10 May

Need help? If you need any help or just want to talk it through with an Advisor, get in touch!