Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage

Herald Express - - Down Your Way -

I AM con­fused about the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage, and how this dif­fers from the Na­tional Liv­ing Wage? How do I check what I am en­ti­tled to?

MOST peo­ple who work are en­ti­tled to get paid at least the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage. This in­cludes ca­sual work­ers, peo­ple on zero hours con­tracts and agency work­ers.

There is also a higher rate called the Na­tional Liv­ing Wage. You should be paid this if you’re 25 or older and you’re en­ti­tled to the Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage.

Your em­ployer can’t fire you or al­ter your work to get around the Na­tional Liv­ing Wage. For ex­am­ple, they can’t take work that you’ve been do­ing away from you and give it to some­one un­der 25 to avoid hav­ing to in­crease your wage.

You’re not en­ti­tled to the min­i­mum wage if you’re any of the fol­low­ing: self-em­ployed, un­der 16, liv­ing and work­ing with a fam­ily as an au pair or nanny, and not pay­ing to­wards your ac­com­mo­da­tion or meals, in the armed forces, a vol­un­teer or do­ing work ex­pe­ri­ence, a pris­oner, some trainees and in- terns, some farm work­ers.

If you’re not sure whether you fall into any of these cat­e­gories, you can check if you’re en­ti­tled to min­i­mum wage us­ing the TUC’s checker -works­mart.org.uk/tools/min­i­mum-wage-cal­cu­la­tor – or call the Acas helpline on 0300 123 1100.

If you’re en­ti­tled to the min­i­mum wage, the amount you should get de­pends on your age and whether you’re an ap­pren­tice. These are the lat­est rates: Age 25 or over - Na­tional Liv­ing Wage of £7.83

Age 21-24 - Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage of £7.38

Age 18-20 - Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage of £5.90

Age 16-17 - Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage of £4.20

Ap­pren­tices aged 16-18 or first-year ap­pren­tices aged 19 or over - Na­tional Min­i­mum Wage £3.70

If you’re not get­ting the min­i­mum wage when you should be get­ting it, your em­ployer owes you the dif­fer­ence be­tween what you should have been paid and what they’ve ac­tu­ally been pay­ing you.

Try hav­ing an in­for­mal chat with your em­ployer. Ask them to ex­plain how they’ve worked out your pay, and to tell you why they think you’re not en­ti­tled to be paid the min­i­mum wage – or why they think you’re al­ready get­ting it.

If your em­ployer agrees they’ve made a gen­uine mis­take, ask them to pay you what you’re owed im­me­di­ately.

Your em­ployer might say they give you ben­e­fits that ‘top up’ your pay rate to the min­i­mum wage, eg. they give you meals or you get to keep all your tips. You should ask for the wage in­stead – you’ve got the right to be paid the min­i­mum wage on top of any ex­tra ben­e­fits like these. If you’re not get­ting any­where call the Acas helpline. They’ll con­firm what you’re en­ti­tled to and help you work out your op­tions.

CON­TACT CI­TI­ZENS AD­VICE TOR­BAY:

Click: www.cit­i­zen­sad­vice­tor­bay.org.uk

Phone: 0300 3309026

Drop-in: 29 Palace Av­enue, Paign­ton, TQ3 3EQ. Mon­day, Tues­day, Thurs­day and Fri­day from 9.30am to 12.30pm

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