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HomeEconomyminimum wage in northern ireland in 2022

minimum wage in northern ireland in 2022

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What Is The National Minimum Wage and Living Wage In 2022?

Considering expected energy price increases and inflation causing the cost of various household items to rise, the minimum wage is being increased accordingly.

MINIMUM WAGE 2021/2022

  • National Minimum Wage rates apply to employees up to the age of 22.
  • National Living Wage (NLW) rates apply to employees 23 and over.
  • The Apprentice rate applies to apprentices under 19, or 19 and over in the first year of apprenticeship.
  • Penalties apply to employers who fail to pay minimum wages.

From April 2021, the minimum wage and living wage rates  are:

AgeCurrent  rates
23 and over (NLW)£8.91
21 to 22£8.36
18 to 20£6.56
Under 18£4.62

*If under 19 or in first year of apprenticeship (otherwise refer to age bands). The apprenticeship rate does not apply to Higher Level Apprenticeships.

Entitlement to the National Minimum Wage (NMW)

Most workers in the UK over compulsory school leaving age are legally entitled to be paid at least the NMW and all employers have to pay it to you if you are entitled to it. It makes no difference:

  • if you are paid weekly or monthly, by cheque, in cash or in another way
  • if you work full time, part time or any other working pattern
  • if you work at your employer’s own premises or elsewhere
  • what size your employer is
  • where you work in the UK

To find out if you’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage, visit:

Work experience and the National Minimum Wage

Work experience can be paid or unpaid, depending on the arrangements you have with your employer. Find out if you are entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) when doing work experience.

Agricultural workers

agricultural workers ireland uk

Agricultural workers in Northern Ireland are entitled to the Agricultural Minimum Wage rates, rather than the NMW or NLW, unless the NMW or NLW rate is higher.

No worker can be paid less than the NMW or NLW, but some agricultural workers must be paid more than the NMW or NLW because there is a higher Agricultural Minimum Wage rate. The rates change in April each year.

GradeRates from April 2021
Grade 1 – minimum  rate applicable for the first 40 weeks cumulative£6.95
Grade 2 – standard worker£7.49
Grade 3 – lead worker£8.91
Grade 4 – craft grade£9.58
Grade 5 – supervisory grade£10.09
Grade 6 – farm management grade£10.95

*These are the minimum hourly rates before tax and national insurance deductions.

Where at any time the NMW becomes higher than the hourly rate set out above, then the minimum rate shall be equal to the NMW.

When overtime is to be applied after 39 hours of work, it will be applied at time and a half.

When will the minimum wage go up?

The National Minimum Wage was last raised on April 1, 2021 and is not due to increase again this year.

This was also the first year that the National Living Wage was extended to 23 and 24-year-olds – before it was for those aged 25 and over.

Each year on April 1, the National Minimum Wage is adjusted by the UK government.

News came out on October 25th that the National Living Wage is set to rise from £8.91 per hour to £9.50 in the Budget, which will be announced next week.

In addition, the National Minimum Wage for young people aged 21-22 will rise from £8.36 to £9.18 an hour and the Apprentice Rate will rise from £4.30 to £4.81 an hour.

According to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the expected increase “ensures we’re making work pay and keeps us on track to meet our target to end low pay by the end of this Parliament”.

However, the increase has come under criticism from the Opposition, with Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Bridget Phillipson describing it as an “underwhelming offer” that wouldn’t go far enough to compensate for tax rises, universal credit cuts, and higher energy bills.

Further help

Advice NI offer free and impartial advice.

If you are a member of a trade union, you can get help, advice and support from them.


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