Minimum Wage rise 2022: how much you'll get in 2021 and 2022

Minimum Wage rise 2022: how much you'll get in 2021 and 2022

The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage are set to rise sharply in April 2022.

lovemoney staff

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lovemoney staff
Updated on 25 October 2021

UK National Living Wage hike for 2022

The National Living Wage is set to rise sharply next April (2022).

The National Living Wage is the legal minimum amount employees should be paid if they’re over the age of 23 and not in the first year of their apprenticeship.


NLW pay for over 23s



Rate after 1 April 2022


According to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the 6.6% rise "ensures we're making work pay and keeps us on track to meet our target to end low pay by the end of this Parliament".

What about the National Minimum Wage?

Under 23s and apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, which will also rise in April.

Here’s what you should be getting paid per hour and what you're entitled to in 2022:




Under 18


Current rate





Rate after 1 April 2022





*Applies to apprentices who are under 19 or in their first year

Who is entitled to the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage?

Workers that are at least school leaving age are entitled to get the National Minimum Wage and those that are 23 or over get the National Living Wage.

Workers are also entitled to the minimum wage if they're:

  • part-time;
  • casual labourers, for example, someone hired for one day;
  • agency workers;
  • workers and homeworkers paid by the number of items they make;
  • apprentices;
  • trainees, workers on probation;
  • disabled workers;
  • agricultural workers;
  • foreign workers;
  • seafarers;
  • offshore workers.

Though many workers benefit from the legal wage, a few exceptions come into it.

The National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage don't apply to:

  • self-employed people running their own business;
  • company directors;
  • volunteers or voluntary workers;
  • workers on a Government employment programme, such as the Work Programme;
  • members of the Armed Forces;
  • family members of the employer living in the employer’s home;
  • non-family members living in the employer’s home who share in the work and leisure activities, are treated as one of the family and aren’t charged for meals or accommodation, for example, au pairs;
  • workers younger than school leaving age (usually 16);
  • higher and further education students on a work placement of up to one year;
  • workers on Government pre-apprenticeships schemes;
  • people on the following European Union programmes: Leonardo da Vinci, Youth in Action, Erasmus+, Comenius;
  • people working on a Jobcentre Plus Work trial for six weeks;
  • share fishermen;
  • prisoners;
  • people living and working in a religious community.

You may not get the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage if you’re:

  • a student doing work experience as part of a higher or further education course;
  • of compulsory school age;
  • a volunteer or doing voluntary work;
  • on a Government or European programme;
  • work shadowing.

If you're in any doubt, ring up the ACAS helpline on 0300 123 1100 or visit the Government website.

I don’t know if I’m being paid enough

Don’t know if you’re being paid properly? Use the Government's calculator to find out.

Remember to factor in expenses related to your job.

Tips don’t count towards the National Living Wage, nor does uniform, safety gear and journeys taken between assignments, so they shouldn’t be deducted from your wage.

If you’re not being paid properly, it’s time to speak to your manager as you’re owed back pay.

You can get help if you’re not confident speaking to your manager by calling the ACAS helpline. It offers confidential advice and support.

Failing that, you can ask your employer to send your payment records by letter and take someone with you to make copies of the records.

If your employer still refuses to pay, take your complaint to HMRC.

I’m an employer

As an employer, it's crucial that you pay your staff properly.

If you don’t pay someone the legal wage, you owe them back payments. Use the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage calculator to work out the arrears.

HMRC officers can check at any time and ask to see payment records. It can also investigate if an employee complains.

As well as paying arrears, you’ll be charged a fine and you might be named by the Government.

What’s the difference between the National Living Wage and the Living Wage?

This one’s a tad confusing. The National Living Wage is the pay that employees are legally entitled to while the Living Wage (sometimes called 'Real Living Wage') is a voluntary rate set out by the Living Wage Foundation.

It’s calculated by the Resolution Foundation and overseen by the Living Wage Commission.

At the moment, the Living Wage is £10.85 in London and £9.50 in the rest of the UK. Nearly 8,500 employers in the UK choose to pay this wage. 

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