Apprentices under the age of 19, or those 19 and over in the first year of their apprenticeship, will be paid a minimum of £5.28 per hour (from 1 April 2022), with many firms paying more. Individuals who do not fall into one of these groups should be paid the age-appropriate minimum wage.
The rules provide that any new rate (for those turning 19 and/or commencing their second year of apprenticeship) takes effect at the start of the next pay period. So people naturally feel that if they are paid monthly and attain the age of 19 (say) on the 15th, they should be paid at a higher rate for the rest of the month. They are, however, only eligible as of the first of the month after their birthday.
The minimum pay rate should be provided for time worked + time spent training on and off the job. This includes time spent at college or with an off-site provider.
GOV.UK gives information on assessing whether the minimum wage is being paid if you are not paid hourly, such as an annual income.
Unfortunately, some businesses may not fully understand how minimum wage rates work; consequently, some apprentices are not always paid the minimum wage. If you suspect you are being underpaid, speak with your manager or call the ACAS Pay and Work Rights Helpline.
Please remember that the government adjustes the minimum wage rates on 1 April.