September 22, 2014 The National Minimum Wage will increase on 1st October 2014 and must be used for all employees over school leaving age, so it’s worth checking that none of your staff fall below the rates as per below: The apprentice rate can only be used for apprentices aged 16 to 18 or employees age 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship, after which the National Minimum Wage rate for their age group must be used. If you are considering hiring an apprentice to help grow your business, it’s worth remembering that small and medium sized employers may be eligible for a £1,500 apprenticeship grant and may also qualify for funding to cover training costs. You can find more information on taking on an apprentice at www.apprenticeships.org.uk. It is a criminal offence for an employer not to pay an employee at the National Minimum Wage rate for their age group, whether it has been done intentionally or in error. HMRC officers have the right to check on employers to check their records going back 3 years. Company directors, however, have different rights and responsibilities from employees. They are classes as office holders and they are not, therefore not entitled to the National Minimum Wage.