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Minimum wage in the UK.

Learn about the minimum wage in the UK thanks to Horizons’ up-to-date guide.

Horizons is where real, local hiring expertise meets world-class customer service. Quickly and compliantly hire employees in more than 150 countries worldwide, without the need to open a local entity.

What is the minimum wage in the UK per hour?

The National Minimum Wage in the United Kingdom is determined on an hourly basis, and varies by age:

  • for those aged 23 and over: £9.50
  • for those aged 21-22: £9.18
  • for those aged 18-20: £6.83
  • for under-18s: £4.81
  • for employees on an apprenticeship scheme aged under 19 or in the first year of the apprenticeship scheme: £4.81.

Are there regional variations in the UK’s minimum wage?

There are no regional variations for the United Kingdom minimum wage. The applicable rate of the National Minimum Wage for each age group applies nationally.


How has minimum wage in the UK changed in the last 5 years and beyond?

The National Living Wage has increased from £7.50 for the highest rate in April 2017 to £9.50 per hour in April 2022. Before 1 April 2021, the 21-22 band was for ages 21-24 and the highest rate applied to those aged 25 and over. This was changed in 2021 and the highest rate now applies to age 23 and over.



UK – Minimum Wage Over the Years
DateMin. Wage, Hourly, 23+ (GBP)

How does the minimum wage in the UK compare to surrounding countries?

The UK ranks as having the eighth highest minimum wage in the world, below than France, Germany and Belgium, but above Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Greece.

Is there a different minimum wage for expats in the UK?

No, all workers in the UK must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

The median full-time annual salary is approximately £31,461, and the minimum wage is £18,525 annually (based on the National Living Wage of £9.50 per hour for age 23 and over, and a standard 37.5 hour working week).


Minimum wage in the UK tends to apply to low skilled jobs. Skilled employees command much higher rates, with the exact amount dependent on the industry and skill required


Most workers are entitled to the minimum wage in the UK, but certain categories of workers are not. These include:

  • self-employed workers running their own business.
  • company directors.
  • voluntary workers.
  • members of the armed forces.
  • workers below age 16.
  • students on work experience or work placements of up to one year.


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