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If you do take on a job, make sure that you are not paid less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW). This is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid. There are different levels of NMW, depending on your age; the current NMW rates are:
- £7.20 an hour if you are aged 25 and over
- £6.95 an hour if you are aged 21 and over
- £5.55 an hour if you are aged 18 to 20.
These will rise in April 2017 to:
- £7.50 an hour if you are aged 25 and over
- £7.05 an hour if you are aged 21 and over
- £5.60 an hour if you are aged 18 to 20.
Most workers in the UK over school leaving age are legally entitled to be paid at least the NMW and all employers have to pay it to you if you are entitled to it. It makes no difference whether you are paid weekly or monthly, how you are paid, whether you work full time or part time or what size the employer is.
You are entitled to the NMW even if you sign a contract agreeing to be paid at a lower rate. The contract will have no legal effect and you must still be paid the proper rate.
If your employer is not paying you the NMW, you can call the confidential national Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.