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Pay, rights and working hours

The things you need to know about pay, rights and working hours.

Take a look at the frequently asked questions

How old do I need to be to work full time?

You can start full time work of up to 40 hours a week when you have reached the minimum school leaving age.

In Wales the minimum school leaving age is calculated like this:

  • You can leave school on the last Friday of June, only if you are going to be 16 by the end of that school year’s summer holidays (Gov.uk)

Find out more about child employment and the official school leaving age on Gov.uk.

Can I work part time while I am in school?
  • You can work part time from the age of 13

The only exception to this is for children working in television, theatre and modelling. Anyone under 13 working in these 3 areas must have a performance licence.

Find out more about child employment and working as a child performer on Gov.uk.

What is the National Minimum Wage/ National Living Wage?

The National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage is the minimum hourly rate you would get depending on your age and whether you are an apprentice.

If you are over 23, you will get at least the National Living Wage. If you are under 23 but over the school leaving age, you will get at least the National Minimum Wage.

You must be at least the school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage.

The rates change every April.

Table showing the current minimum wage in £ and by age:
Year 23 and over 21-23 18-20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2022 £9.50 £9.18 £6.83 £4.81 £4.81

Take a look at National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates on Gov.uk for more information, including rates for apprentices which depend on age and the stage of apprenticeship.

MoneyHelper, from the Money and Pensions Service, can help you understand more about the money you earn. Take a look at Understanding your payslip to find out more.

How do I get a National Insurance Number?

I'm under 20

If you live in the UK and a parent has filled in a Child Benefit claim form for you, you should be sent a National Insurance number automatically in the 3 months before your 16th birthday. If you didn’t receive one, and you are aged 16 to 19 you can call the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) helpline number:

Telephone: 0300 200 3500
Text phone: 0300 200 3519

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8am-6pm

When you phone the helpline number, HMRC will not tell you your National Insurance number over the phone. They will post it to you. This usually takes 15 working days.


I'm over 20

There is information about how to apply for a National Insurance Number on Gov.uk

It can take up to 16 weeks to get your National Insurance Number.


I've lost my National Insurance Number

There is information to help find a lost National Insurance Number on Gov.uk


Where can I get more information?

Find out more about your National Insurance Number on Gov.uk.

Where can I find out about my employment rights?

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) can be contacted for confidential, free advice about employment law or work-related questions.

Telephone:  0300 123 1100

Text phone: 18001 0300 123 1100

Open Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm.

View the other ways to contact ACAS.

MoneyHelper, from the Money and Pensions Service, offers free and impartial money and employment advice.

Where can I find out about disclosing criminal records to employers?
What are my rights if I am a temporary agency worker?

You have worker’s employment rights (Gov.uk) from the day you start work.

After 12 weeks in your job you will qualify for the same rights as people who are employed directly by the company.

Read more about your rights as an agency worker on Gov.uk.

Who can help me if I'm made redundant?

Take a look at Options after redundancy for information about the support available.

MoneyHelper, from the Money and Pensions Service, can help you with creating a redundancy plan, which benefits you can claim and your legal rights. Find out more on MoneyHelper - Redundancy.

Who can support me with pensions and retirement?

Your company's Human Resources Department can give you further information about the type of pension you have and the different options available to you if you are considering retirement.

Find out more about the State Pension on Gov.uk.

MoneyHelper, from the Money and Pensions Service, can offer you advice and guidance on different types of pension and retirement income options. Find out more on MoneyHelper - Pensions and Retirement


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