For periods starting on and after the 1st of April 2022, the national living wage (NLW) will now increase to £9.50 an hour. Other national minimum wage rates will also rise to the below; this will apply to workers over the age of 23.

Hourly rate for pay periods starting from:NLW aged 23+ £/hrAge 21 & 22 £/hrAge 18 & 20 £/hrAge 16 & 17 £/hrApprentice rate £/hr

Will Apprenticeship Wages Also Increase?

Yes, the apprenticeship wage will increase significantly by 11.9% to £4.81, which will align with the rate for employees between 16 and 17 years of age. If you are an employer that does not have a formal apprenticeship agreement in place for trainees under 18, this change will now make it easier to ensure that you are paying the correct NMW. For those with older apprentices, on the other hand, a formal agreement will still be necessary.

We would always recommend keeping an eye out on your employees’ birthdays so you can ensure that any NMW rate increase is factored into the pay period that starts after they move to the next age category.

Along with the above, there is also now a £3,000 incentive for each apprentice that is employed before midnight on the 31st of January 2022.

Will The Kickstart Scheme Change?

For employers who take on employees under the Kickstart scheme, the employee must be paid the NMW that applies to their age. If you would like to take advantage of funding from the Kickstart scheme, you must apply for this before the 17th of December 2021. The start date for these employees has been extended to the 31st of March 2022.