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Time flies! Another tax year began in April, with new National Minimum Wage rates and new minimum pension contributions.

What’s the minimum wage?
The hourly minimum wage rates from 1 April 2019 are below. You must be at least school leaving age to qualify for them.

  • 25 and over: £8.21 (up from £7.83)
  • 21 to 24: £7.70 (up from £7.38)
  • 18 to 20: £6.15 (up from £5.90)
  • Under 18: £4.35 (up from £4.20)
  • Apprentice: £3.90 (up from £3.70)

The apprentice rate is for apprentices aged 16 to 18, and apprentices aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship. All other apprentices are entitled to the National Minimum Wage for their age.

Internships and work experience
The rules regarding the minimum wage for interns and people on work experience vary depending on the situation. If you’re thinking of employing someone on this basis, it’s best to check out HMRC’s guide on the minimum wage for work experience and internships.

What are the minimum pension contribution rates?
From the start of the new tax year (6 April 2019), the minimum pension contribution rates increase to 3% of qualifying earnings for the employer and 5% for the employee. (In the previous tax year they were 2% for the employer and 3% for the employee.)

Qualifying earnings are an employee’s gross pay between £118 per week and £962 per week. For an employee who’s paid monthly, it’s their gross monthly pay between £512 and £4,167.

For Example:
An employee earns £300 per week.
Her qualifying earnings are £182 (£300 – £118).
Min contribution from the employee: £9.10 per week (5% of £182).
Min contribution from the employer: £5.46 per week (3% of £182).
Total minimum contribution: £14.56 per week (£9.10 + £5.46).

NB The new tax year starts on 6 April, but if you pay your employees monthly you should use the new pension rates for the whole month of April.

If you have any questions about pension rates or the minimum wage, you know where to find us!

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