National Minimum Wage entitlement

When your rate increases

There are times when you will be entitled to a higher minimum wage rate, for example:

  • when the government increases the rates (usually on 1 April each year)
  • if you turn a year older

You start to get the higher rate from the next ‘pay reference period’ after the increase. This means your pay might not go up straight away.


There’s a minimum wage rate increase on 1 April.

You get paid monthly on the 15th of the month. You’ll still get the old rate until your next pay reference period starts on 16 April.

You’ll get paid:

  • the old rate for 1 April to 15 April
  • the new rate for 16 April to 15 May

Pay reference period

Your ‘pay reference period’ is the period of time your pay covers. It will depend on how often you get paid. For example:

  • if you’re paid daily, your pay reference period is one day
  • if you’re paid weekly, your pay reference period is one week
  • if you’re paid monthly, your pay reference period is one month

The pay reference period cannot be longer than a month.