Pay and hours

National Minimum Wage and The National Living Wage

Employing young people

The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to by law.  It doesn’t matter how small you are as an employer, you will still have to pay the National Minimum Wage.

The minimum wage rate will depend on how old a worker is and whether or not they are an apprentice.  Workers must be at least school leaving age to get the minimum wage and at least 25 to get the National Living Wage.

Up-to-date information on the National Minimum Wage, who is entitled to it and current rates, is available at

Equal pay and the Equality Act 2010

As an employer, you also have a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010, to ensure that a woman doing the same work as a man, in the same employment, receives equality in respect of pay and other terms and conditions.  For further information please refer to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.


Young people under 18 can not work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week.

If your employees are over 18, they will be classed as adult workers.  Adult workers should not normally work more than 48 hours per week, unless they choose to, or they work in a particular sector where this may be necessary.

They are entitled to breaks in work:

  • Rest Breaks – lunch breaks or tea breaks, or other short breaks during the working day
  • Daily Breaks from Work
  • Weekly Breaks from Work

There is more information at  

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