Employing children and young people

Employing workers aged 18 or over


You may still have special responsibilities to young people, even when they are over the age of 18.

National Minimum Wage and Living Wage

At 18, most workers should be paid at least the minimum wage, which is, from 1 April 2020:

  • £4.15 per hour for apprentices aged under 19 or those aged over 19 in the first year of a contract of apprenticeship
  • £4.55 per hour for people under 18 years old and above school leaving age
  • £6.45 per hour for people aged 18 to 20
  • £8.20 per hour for those aged 21 to 24 years old
  • £8.72 per hour for people aged 25 and over (National Living Wage)

Apprentices aged 19 or over that have completed at least one year of their apprenticeship are entitled to receive the full minimum wage rate applicable to their age.

Read more on the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates.

Working Hours

In general, workers aged 18 and over are entitled to:

  • work no more than six days out of every seven, or 12 out of every 14
  • take a 20-minute break if they work more than six hours at a stretch
  • work a maximum 48-hour average week