12 Nov 2021 10:09 AM

From 1 April 2022, the rate of National Living Wage paid to workers aged 23 and over will rise by 6.6%, or 59p, to £9.50 an hour. Apprentices will benefit from an 11.9% uplift to their current hourly rate of National Minimum Wage.

For full-time workers, the 59p increase equates to extra annual salary of at least £1,000. Current and future rates of National Living/Minimum Wage are:



From 1 April 2022

Percentage increase

23 and over




21 to 22




18 to 20




16 to 17








Apprentices receive the apprentice rate if they are either aged under 19 or in the first year of their apprenticeship. For example, a first-year apprentice aged 21 can be paid the apprentice rate.

The provision of accommodation is the only benefit that counts towards national minimum pay, with the maximum offset increasing to £8.70 a day (£60.90 a week).

Common misconceptions

HMRC has published a checklist of common causes of minimum wage underpayment:

  • Making a wage deduction for something job-related, such as the provision of a staff uniform;
  • Making a wage deduction where the employer benefits, such as employer-provided transport;
  • Not paying for any additional time added on to a worker’s shift;
  • Not paying for travelling time; or
  • Not paying for any time spent training.

Real Living Wage

National Living/Minimum Wage rates should not be confused with the Real Living Wage. This is independently calculated to reflect the cost of living and can be paid by employers on a voluntary basis; nearly 9,000 employers do so.

The current Real Living Wage rate is £9.50 an hour, with a London rate of £10.85. It is aimed at all workers aged 18 or over.

HMRC’s checklist of common causes of minimum wage underpayment, along with links to detailed guidance, can be found here.

If you require any more information, please do contact us.