By law an employer is required to pay their staff a minimum amount of money, which depends on the age of the employee. If you are under aged under 25 this is called the National Minimum Wage, and if you are aged 25 or over this is called the National Living Wage.
Age 18-20 - the National Minimum Wage is £5.60 an hour
Age 21-24 - the National Minimum Wage is £7.05 an hour
Age 25 or over - the National Living Wage is £7.50 an hour
National Minimum Wage rates change every October. National Living Wage rates change every April. Rates are available online.
Many jobs pay more than the minimum amount, but it is illegal for an employer to pay you less.
For advice on what to do if your employer is paying less than the minimum amount, as well as on other issues such as working for an employment agency, you can ring the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100. The helpline can take calls in over 100 languages.
Alternatively, there is an online helpline.
If you earn the national minimum wage of £5.60 an hour (for those aged 18-20), we have given you an estimate below of what you can expect to earn, before any deductions for Income Tax and National Insurance (these are explained in later sections of this guide).
- Working one day or two evenings a week, during term-time: £5.60 x 8 hours a week x 31 weeks = £1388.80
- Working during Christmas (3 weeks) and Easter (4 weeks) vacations: £5.60 x 35 hours a week x 7 weeks = £1372
- Working during the long summer vacation: £5.30 x 35 hours a week x 16 weeks = £3136
Law, regulations and policies can change quickly. The information on our website is given in good faith and has been carefully checked but QMUL cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. QMUL is not responsible for the content or reliability of the linked websites which are provided for further information.