Guidance brings clarity on national minimum wage

Invest Northern Ireland’s website has issued revised guidance to clarify the rights of workers to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

The updated guidance – available on – takes into account the changes to the NMW rates, effective from 1 October 2011, and provides clear information and advice to employers on their responsibilities under NMW legislation.

By following best practice advice and a new Worker Checklist, employers will be able to easily determine if their workers – including volunteers, work experience staff and interns – should be paid at least minimum wage. An interactive online NMW calculator and example case studies will further help employers ensure that their workers receive their full entitlement and correct amount of pay.

The new NMW rates will come into force on 1 October 2011. The hourly NMW rate will rise to £6.08 for workers aged 21 and over and to £4.98 for workers aged 18-20. The rate for those under 18 but above compulsory school age rises to £3.68 an hour. Apprentices under the age of 19, or over 19 but in their first year of apprenticeship, will be entitled to an increased rate of £2.60 an hour.

Shauna Fenton, head of Invest NI’s team, says: “This updated guidance will help employers to fully understand their obligations under National Minimum Wage legislation in respect of different types of workers. It will help them calculate how much they need to pay their staff for the hours that they work, ensure that they keep the right records, and lessen the risk of getting the calculation wrong and so possibly incurring penalties.

“As a free and impartial service led by Invest NI with information provided by Government departments, is a clear and authoritative resource which helps businesses understand regulations that apply to them and how to comply.

“Businesses can register on the site for free to receive instant email updates on regulation changes that may affect them, including the national minimum wage. This means that they can be well prepared for implementing changes and will not run the risk of being in breach of regulations.” is the most comprehensive free source of online business advice in Northern Ireland. To receive key business updates on regulations, funding opportunities and business events sign up to the free alert service