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Apprentice Minimum Wage Help


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I wonder if someone could help me with a minimum wage query.


I have been working as an apprentice being paid £2.60 per hour since October 2010.

I turned 19 in January 2011 and am still currently employed being paid £2.60 per hour.


Its now come to my attention that £2.60 is the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship. Therefore I think I have been entitled to minimum wage since October 2011 but I'm not sure if this means that I had to start my apprenticeship when I was 19 as I was 18 for 3 months.


If someone could let me know if I have been entitled to minimum wage and if my employer has to back date and pay me what I've earned?


Thanks for any help in advance :)

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It says "your salary will be at the apprenticeship rate of £2.50 per hour payable in weekly instalments one week in arrears."


Surely if its law it doesn't matter what my contract says though?

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Echo Flumps post above - this needs to be escalated if it hasn't already been changed. As an Apprentice, the NMW is £2.60 per hour for 16-18 year olds and 19 year olds in the first year of their apprenticeship only. If you are 19 and have completed your first year then you must be paid the NMW appropriate to your age (£4.98 per hour).


The rate only changes from your 19th birthday though - the £2.60 rate is applicable to 16-19 year olds irrespective of length of service and the full NMW only kicks in when you reach 19 providing that you have completed your first year, not from when you complete the first year if you are still 18 at that point.


It may be that you see the change in your next wage payment.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






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I see the lot of the apprentice has not improved much over the years, I started my carpentry apprenticeship at 15 and three months old way back in lets see............................ 1975 on the grand rate of £5 per week, and £0.50p of that was deducted weekly for 'tool money', new tools were purchased on 'tick'.

When I came out of my time five years later the firm sacked me, as they did all apprentices, because they would have to pay the going union rate for a qualified carpenter, oh happy days...........not!


Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges


Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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