Editor's message: The national minimum wage has been a key policy area for successive governments since its introduction in 1999, with the current Conservative administration asking the Low Pay Commission to recommend rates so that they “are set as high as possible without damaging the employment prospects of each group".
The national minimum wage is enforced through a combination of financial penalties for non-payment and a policy of "naming and shaming" - the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy publicises cases where employers have deliberately breached the national minimum wage laws.
Even if the rates that you pay appear to be significantly higher than the national minimum wage, you should still check that you are not inadvertently breaching the law. Be aware, for example, that a salary-sacrifice arrangement might bring an employee's pay below the relevant national minimum wage rate.
The level of the minimum wage is reviewed each year, with uprating taking place on 1 April.
Clio Springer, senior employment law editor
Almost half a million people were paid less than the hourly minimum wage they were entitled to in 2017/18, according to the Low Pay Commission.
Updated to reflect that the Court of Appeal will hear the appeal in Awan v ICTS UK Ltd on 4 or 5 December 2019.
As the national minimum wage celebrates its 20th anniversary, the TUC has claimed that young workers could be missing out on £200 million a year in pay.
Two decades after its introduction, many employers are still getting caught out by the rules surrounding the national minimum wage. With HMRC taking an increasingly hard line on enforcement, Andrew Brookes and William Sweeney look at some of the common pitfalls.
Updated to reflect the increase to national minimum wage rates, effective from 1 April 2019.
Updated to reflect the increase to national minimum wage rates, effective for pay reference periods starting on or after 1 April 2019.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to the national minimum wage.