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How much will the minimum wage increase in 2022?

As recommended by the Low Pay Commission, the National Living Wage will increase to £9.50 an hour from next April. This applies to workers aged 23 or above, but the minimum wage rates for apprentices and workers between 16 and 22 years old is also increasing in 2022.

With these National Minimum Wage rises, the government should be back on track to achieve a minimum wage that’s level with two-thirds of the average earnings in the UK by 2024. These changes are intended to help the lowest-paid workers to recover from the pandemic.

Minimum wage changes in 2022

So, how much is the National Minimum Wage increasing next year? Check out the table below to easily check the pay rise that your age group can expect from 1st April 2022.

Worker Age

Current Amount

Amount in 2022

Increase (%)

23 and above




21 – 22




18 – 20




16 – 17








For full-time workers over 23, this 59p-an-hour increase should translate to an extra £1,000 of salary a year, which we’re sure you know can make a massive difference.

There will be an 11.9% uplift (51p per hour) for apprentice wages, bringing the hourly rate in line with the minimum wage for the youngest workers. This rate will apply for apprentices either aged 19 years old or in the first year of the apprenticeship.

What is the Real Living Wage?

It’s easy to confuse the different Minimum Wages and Living Wages, but they aren’t quite the same thing. To clear things up, the National Living Wage is the statutory minimum for workers aged 23 and over, while the National Minimum Wage rates apply to age brackets from 16 to 22 years old.

The Real Living Wage, also referred to as the UK Living Wage, is independently calculated to reflect current living costs and is not legally enforced – though at least 9,000 employers voluntarily pay this rate. The London Living Wage is also different, reflecting the higher costs of living in the capital.

Common misconceptions about wage deductions

HMRC has helpfully published a Minimum Wage Checklist for employers, ensuring that no employee is being purposefully underpaid. Common causes of underpayment include wrongful deductions for employer benefits, job-related expenses, and failure to pay for training or overtime.

Currently, providing accommodation is the only benefit that counts towards minimum pay, and the maximum offset for this will also increase to £60.90 a week next year (£8.70 a day).

If you’re an employer in need of payroll services
to calculate the correct wages and tax for your employees, or an employee yourself with HMRC enquiries about whether you’re being paid enough, you can contact GBAC for accounting assistance.