The UK government introduced a new minimum wage rate for all but the youngest workers, the national living wage, in 2016. Initially, it was for those aged 25 and over, but is now for anyone aged 23 and over. From 2024, the age is expected to decrease again to 21 and over.
The national living wage (NLW) is compulsory and the Low Pay Commission (LPC) recommends future rises, with the government aiming for it to reach two-thirds of median hourly earnings by 2024.
The national living wage is different to the Living Wage, a voluntary pay rate independently set by the Living Wage Foundation. The ‘real’ Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.