National Minimum Wage and Living Wage in 2022: how much it is

8 December 2022 by Robin - 11 minutes of reading time

National minimum wage

What is the National Minimum Wage? What is the National Living Wage? If you are a worker or an employee, you are entitled to be paid at least a certain amount for the work that you do. Moreover, your employers may not pay you any less of these amounts. Your Benefits will tell you everything you need to know about the National Minimum and Living Wage in 2022.

What is the National Minimum Wage?

What is the Minimum Wage? The National Minimum Wage in 2022 is the minimum amount that you may be paid hourly when working. All workers will get the Minimum Wage. Furthermore, the National Living Wage is higher. Moreover, you can receive it when you are older than 23 years old. 

What Minimum Wage you receive depends on a couple of factors. More specifically, on how old you are, as well as whether you are an apprentice or not. You also need to at least be a worker. All workers must receive at least the Minimum Wage.

Note that employers may not pay their workers less than the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, whichever is appropriate. Otherwise, this is considered a criminal offence. They may not falsify payment records as well.

How much is the National Minimum and Living Wage in 2022?

You can check if you are paid the appropriate amount of Minimum Wage. The way that the Minimum Wage is calculated is different whether you are a worker or an employee.

The Gov.UK website has separate calculators for whether you are an employee or not. Indeed, the way that your national Minimum Wage is calculated depends on your employment status. If you were not paid the National Minimum Amount, you could be entitled to be paid more for prior years.

The National Minimum and Living Wage is changed on 1 April every year. For the 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 period, the Minimum Wage is as follows:

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates for 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023
You are (an) Minimum amount to be paid
Apprentice £4.81 (National Minimum Wage)
Younger than 18 years old £4.81 (National Minimum Wage)
Between 18 and 20 years old £6.83 (National Minimum Wage)
Between 21 and 22 years old £9.18 (National Minimum Wage)
23 years old or older £9.50 (National Living Wage)

What if I am a worker?

What is the National Minimum Wage?

You could be a worker. If this is the case, you need to be ‘school leaving age‘ at a minimum. This is typically 16 years old. Then, if you are 23 years or older, you can receive the National Living Wage.

You may sign a contract that would pay you less than the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. Then, such a contract has no legal power. In fact, you may still be paid at least the National Minimum Wage, or National Living Wage.

You could also receive the appropriate National Minimum Wage if you are a worker in a different situation. In fact, this is the case for the following:

  • Offshore workers;
  • Seafarers;
  • Foreign workers;
  • Agricultural workers;
  • Disabled workers;
  • Workers and trainees on probation;
  • Apprentices;
  • Homeworkers and workers who receive their pay based on the number of objects that they produce;
  • Agency workers;
  • Casual labourers (for example, this could be someone who was contracted to work only for a day);
  • Part-time.

You could be an apprentice. Then, you would be entitled to the apprentice rate. However, one of the following two things need to apply to you:

  • In the first year when your apprenticeship takes place, you are 19 years or older;
  • You are younger than 19 years old.

You could be an apprentice older than 19 years old. Additionally, you could have finished the first year of your apprenticeship. Then, you should receive the correct National Minimum Wage that’s appropriate for your age. 

Could I not be entitled to the National Minimum Wage?

It could be possible that you are a worker who could not receive a National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage. This is the case if you are in the following situations, a:

  • Prisoner;
  • Voluntary workers and volunteers;
  • Share fisherman;
  • People who work and reside in a religious community;
  • A self-employed worker who has their own business;
  • Individuals who partake in a Jobcentre Plus Work trial for a duration of 6 weeks maximum;
  • Individuals taking part in programmes set forth by the European Union (EU) like ComeniusErasmus+ or Leonardo da Vinci;
  • Workers taking part in governmental pre-apprenticeships schemes;
  • Those who partake is shadowing another person at their workplace;
  • Students in further or higher education, who are doing either a work placement or work experience that takes place for no more than a year;
  • Company directors;
  • Workers who are below school leaving age, which is typically 16 years old;
  • Those living inside of the home of their employer, who are not part of their family, who partake in their work and non-work occupations, are treated as if being part of the family, and do not have to pay for their food, room, services, etc…;
  • Members of the family of the employer who reside in their home;
  • Those enlisted in the armed forces;
  • People who take part in programmes such as the Work Programme, who are organized by the government, to help people find work.
You may be considered a voluntary worker. Then,not all your costs may be covered. Indeed, this may include transportation expenses as well food. To be considered a voluntary worker, you must work at a statutory bodyassociated fundraising body or voluntary organization, or a charity.

National Minimum or Living Wage: what if I am paid below what I am entitled to?

You may be a worker, who is paid below what they can receive with the National Minimum or Living Wage. Then, it’s a good idea to discuss the issue with your employer before doing anything else.

Talking with your employer may not bring a solution to the situation. Then, ask for your employer’s payment records. More specifically, do so in writing. Then, you should be able to make copies of your records.

Your employer may not have paid you everything you are entitled to. Then, you could demand to be paid arrears. This is so that they compensate for the lack of pay that they made to you.

If you are unhappy with the amount that you are paid (it must be below the National Minimum or Living Wage) you can send a complaint to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). You can do so on behalf of another person, or for your own employer or employment agency.

Being fired because you complained about being paid less than the Minimum Wage may constitute unfair dismissal. You may make a claim to an employment tribunal. However, note that you may do this at any time.

Finally, the HMRC may find that your employer did not pay the National Minimum or Living Wage. Then, they will have to pay arrears. Additionally, they will also have to pay a penalty.

Do employers have to pay the Minimum Wage?

National Minimum Wage: do employers have to pay the National Minimum Wage?

You may be an employer. In this case, you need to pay your worker at least the minimum amount that is appropriate for their situation. This is the National Minimum Wage.

Certain things count towards a worker or employee’s National Minimum Wage. In fact, such payments will count when calculating how much they should be paid at a minimum.

This is the case for Income Tax. Additionally, it is also the case for National Insurance contributions. Indeed, both of these count towards calculating a worker’s National Minimum Wage.

Other things also count. This is the case if an employee has misconduct, and suffers penalty charges for them. These count in the calculation. Accommodations also count, for those superior to the offset rate, which is £60.9 weekly or £8.70 daily.

The worker may also have made voluntary payments, for things not necessary for the job. For example, this can be food that the employee paid for. This can be counted towards their Minimum Wage. Additionally, you may have received repayments for overpaid wages. Then, these also count.

Lastly, employers may have paid loans or wage advances. Otherwise, workers may have made repayments for these. Both count towards the worker’s National Minimum Wage.

What does not count towards calculating the National Minimum Wage?

Certain things do not count in the calculation of the minimum wage. In fact, this is the case for extra amounts that workers receive by doing work during unsocial hours during their workday. It’s also the case for service or cover charges, as well as tips.

Additionally, other things are not counted in the calculation. This is the case for the costs of items bought by the worker for their work. This includes things such as safety equipmentuniforms and tools. However, this is if you cannot be refunded for the items.

Lastly, you should not include payments like having paid for an employee’s travel to their workplace. Indeed, this is a cost that does not count towards their National Minimum Wage.

What if I did not pay my workers the Minimum Wage?

You may be an employer. Additionally, you could have discovered that you did not pay your employees the minimum amount that they are entitled to. If this is the case, you must pay arrears to the worker immediately.

To see what you owe your employee, you can use the calculator on the Gov.UK website. In fact, this calculator will let you see what National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage your employee or worker should receive. This article also contains a table with the current rate of both wage amounts.

Note that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can demand to see payment records, anytime that they want. Indeed, they can chose to have checks whenever they want. Additionally, a worker may make a complaint, in which case they can carry out an investigation of an employer.

HMRC may look at your payment records. Then, they may find that you did not pay your workers the amounts that they are entitled to. If this is the case, employers have to pay arrears straight away. Also, note that you may pay a penalty. Furthermore, the government may name you.

Do employers have to keep payment records?

Employers have to keep accurate payment records. In fact, providing falsified payment records is a criminal offence. With accurate documents, employers can show that they pay their workers at least the National Minimum or Living Wage

Payment records need to be conserved for a minimum of 6 years. This is the case if they were first made on 1 April 2021 or prior. Otherwise, this is the case if they had to be conserved on 31 March 2021 because of the prior ruling that dictated a period of 3 years for keeping payment records.

If the payment records were created later, they must not be deleted for a certain period. More specifically, at least until the last day of the pay reference period that follows the reference period that the payment record documents.

Employers can choose to keep their payment records in any form that they chose. In fact, this can be digital or in paper form. However, note that workers should be able to access these records at any time. Additionally, they should be able to get, in one document, any individual pay reference.

There are a number of reasons that employers may choose to keep their payment records. In fact, this includes proving what the employer paid their worker.

This includes tips, allowances and deductions, which constitutes total pay. However, it also includes total hours worked, which also contains overtime that workers worked, as well as any days on which workers may have been absent.

It could be a good idea that employers keep records of certain things. This includes contracts, like what dictates the conditions, pays and hours that workers agree to. Additionally, they should conserve any record that explains why a worker is not able to receive the National Minimum or Living Wage.

What is a pay reference period?

pay reference period typically reflects the frequency at which a worker receives their wage. This could be a month, a week or even a period of 10 days. However, note that the maximum length for a pay reference period is 31 days.

On average, workers need to receive the National Minimum Wage for time spent working during their pay reference period.

A worker’s pay reference period may be 10 days. This means that they are also paid every 10 days. Then, when averaged out, their pay over the 10 days need to not be below the National Minimum Wage.

What else should I know?

You may be aged 23. Then you must get the minimum wage rates, minimum pay per hour, if this wage is the minimum ammount. Workers aged this must also pay tax and national insurance. You can call the acas helpline on 0300 123 1100. Employer must pay this completed on the first year. You could get confidential advice on the correct minimum wage.

The hourly rate is determined by government services. You cannot find out with your email address.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

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