Current National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates
There are different levels of NMW, depending on your age and whether you are an apprentice. The current rates (for 2012) are:
•£6.19 – The main rate (also called the standard or adult rate) applies to all employees aged 21 and over unless they fall within one of the exceptions or another rate applies.
•£4.98 – the development rate applies to all workers ages 18-20 inclusive.
•£3.68 – the third rate applies to 16-17 year olds who are above compulsory school leaving age but not apprentices.
•£2.65 – the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or those in their first year of their apprenticeship. If you are 19 or over and past your first year you get the rate that applies to your age.
In England & Wales, a person is above the compulsory school leaving age (and therefore becomes entitled to the minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds) after the last Friday in June of the school year in which their 16th birthday occurs.
If you are of compulsory school age you are not entitled to the NMW. Some of your other employment rights are also different.