Pay boost as National Minimum and Living Wage rates go up

Millions of UK workers will receive a pay rise as the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage increased on Friday 1 April in line with the recommendations from the independent Low Pay Commission.

The uplift in wages includes the largest-ever increase in the National Living Wage. It will put £1,000 a year more into full-time workers’ pay packets, helping to ease the cost of living pressures

Workers aged 21-22 will receive a rise of almost 10% on the National Minimum Wage, while those aged 23 and over receiving the National Living Wage will get a raise of 6.6% to £9.50

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We have never been more determined to make work pay, and by providing the biggest cash increase ever to the National Living Wage from 1 April, we are giving a boost to millions of UK workers. While no government can control the global factors pushing up the cost of everyday essentials, we will absolutely act wherever we can to mitigate rising costs. With more employees on the payroll than ever before, this government will continue to stand up for workers”.

The uplift will particularly benefit workers in sectors such as retail, hospitality and cleaning and maintenance. Apprentices will also get a large 11.9% increase in their minimum hourly pay, with 21 to 22 year-olds seeing an immediate 9.8% rise. The National Living Wage, the minimum wage for over 23 year-olds, will now move up to £9.50 an hour.

The new National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates are both statutory minimums, and businesses are encouraged to pay workers above these rates whenever they can afford to do so.

In full, the increases from 1 April 2022 are:


From April 2022

Current rate (April 2021 to March 2022


National Living Wage




21 to 22 year old rate




18 to 20 year old rate




16 to 17 year old rate




Apprentice rate




With rates going up from 1 April, workers across the UK are being urged to check they are being paid properly. This can be done by visiting the Check Your Pay site, which also offers advice on what to do if you are being underpaid.

Businesses are being advised to take simple steps to ensure they are meeting their legal responsibilities and to avoid falling foul of the law:

  • Find out which staff are eligible for the new rate;
  • Update the company payroll, and
  • Communicate the changes to staff as soon as possible.


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