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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 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 2021 (current rate) £8.91 £8.36 £6.56 £4.62 £4.30

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

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 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-6pm

Telephone:          0800 141 2075
Text phone:         0800 141 2438

Welsh Language:   0800 141 2349

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 141 2075
Text phone:           0800 141 2438

Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6pm

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

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 ( 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

Who can help me if I'm made redundant?

If you are facing redundancy, there are organisations who can help you with your next steps. Take a look at Options after redundancy for further 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

MoneyHelper 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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