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Tips for employers on getting the minimum wage right for apprentices’
As an employer of apprentices, you have a legal responsibility to ensure you’re paying them at least the National Minimum Wage. Mistakes can be easy to make but there is help and advice available to get it right.
When paying your apprentices make sure you’re not making the following common minimum wage mistakes:
If an apprentice is aged 19 and over and has completed the first year of their apprenticeship, they are entitled to the higher minimum wage rate for their age group
An apprentice can only be paid the apprentice rate of £4.30 once they have officially started their apprenticeship and not after it ends
All training time must be paid no matter whether this takes place at work, college or elsewhere – the training can even be outside normal working hours
Employers can get help and advice on paying the correct minimum wage by:
- visiting the Check your pay website
- calling the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100
Sample wage calculations for employers
Worker A is an apprentice, aged 18, and works 32 hours per week.
Six of these hours are spent training at college. All training time is classed as working time and must be paid. As this worker is under the age of 19, they are entitled to the apprentice rate of £4.30 per hour.
Wage calculation: £4.30 x 32 hours = £137.60 per week
Worker A is entitled to be paid at least £137.60 per week.
Worker B is 21 and starts a two year apprenticeship with an employer working 32 hours per week.
This worker is entitled to the apprentice rate of £4.30 per hour for the first year and then the higher National Minimum Wage rate of £8.36 for the second year.
Wage calculation for year 1: £4.30 x 32 hours = £137.60 per week
Wage calculation for year 2: £8.36 x 32 hours = £267.52 per week
At the current rate, worker B is entitled to be paid at least £137.60 per week during their first year and £267.52 per week during their second year of the apprenticeship.
Employers can use the National Minimum Wage calculator to check their wage calculations: www.gov.uk/minimum-wage-calculator-employers