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Welsh Government

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 (

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

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

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.

If you are over 25, you will get at least the National Living Wage.  If you are under 25 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. The current rates are:

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18  Apprentice
April 2019 (current rate) £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
April 2020 £8.72 £8.20 £6.45 £4.55 £4.15

Take a look at National Minimum Wage rates on for more information.

How do I get a National Insurance Number?

I live in the UK

If you live in the UK you should be sent a National Insurance number automatically just before your 16th birthday.  If you didn’t receive one, and you are under 20 call the helpline number. You can also use this number if you've lost your National Insurance number:

Monday to Friday 8am-8pm
Saturday              8am-4pm

Telephone:          0300 200 3500
Text phone:         0300 200 3519

I'm over 20 and don't have a National Insurance number

If you are over 20 and don’t have a National Insurance number apply by phoning the application line:

Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm

Telephone:            0800 1412075
Text phone:           0800 141 2438

Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm

Welsh Language:    0800 141 2349


How long does it take to get a National Insurance number?

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

Find out more about national insurance number on

Where can I find out about my employment rights?

ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) can be contacted to discuss your employment rights or any issues you might be facing in your workplace.

Telephone:  0300 123 1100
Text phone: 180010300 1231100 

View the other ways to contact ACAS.

The Money Advice 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 ( 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

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