National Minimum Wage: it applies to students, too!

January 15, 2014

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs department has asked the University to remind students of the National Minimum Wage, to ensure that any students working alongside their studies get paid what they are entitled to.

It does not matter whether work is part-time, casual or seasonal: you are entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for any time that you are in paid employment. This includes any time your employer requires you to be on the premises, whether being there before opening or staying behind after closure to cash up or help get things ready for the next day.

If you face expenses or charges for uniforms (or other compulsory work-related expenses), you must still be paid the right National Minimum Wage rates. That means that, even after the deductions have been applied, your pay must still be at or above National Minimum Wage when you divide the total pay by the number of hours you have worked.

Where you receive tips or gratuities, the employer must deal with these properly in calculations of your pay. (Tips and gratuities must be on top of minimum wage: employers cannot pay you less salary and make up the difference with tips and gratuities.)

If you work through a temp agency, your gross pay must be at or above Minimum Wage after any commission deducted by the agency.

National Minimum Wage rates (current as of December 2013)

  • For people aged 21 and above: £6.31 per hour
  • 'Development rate’ for workers aged 18-20: £5.03 per hour
  • Workers aged under 18: £3.72 per hour

For example, if you are 20 you are entitled to be paid at least £201.20 for a 40-hour week. If you are 21, that rate is £252.40. You could be missing out on £51.20 a week simply because your employer has your age wrong.

If you are not receiving at least these hourly rates of pay or need confidential advice, you can phone the Pay and Work Rights Helpline on 0800 917 2368.

Additional information and links

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