National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates from 1st April 2018

Circular No: NP/204/17


Our Ref: S1/7

1st December 2017

Dear Colleague,

National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates from 1st April 2018

Further to circular NP/076 of 17th May 2017, ahead of the autumn Budget statement on 22nd November, the Low Pay Commission published its recommendations on NMW and accommodation offset rates from 1st April next year.

Current minimum wage rates

Age Group

April 2017

April 2018


National Living Wage (25+)

£7.50 p.h.

£7.83 p.h.


NMW (21-24)

£7.05 p.h.

£7.38 p.h.


NMW (18-20)

£5.60 p.h.

£5.90 p.h.


NMW (16-17)

£4.05 p.h.

£4.20 p.h.


Apprentice NMW

£3.50 p.h.

£3.70 p.h.


Accommodation Offset*

£6.40 per day

£7.00 per day


*Daily deduction from wages where accommodation is provided by the employer (e.g. the shipping industry)

The Government has accepted the LPC’s recommended increases. They come into effect on 1st April 2018. The union’s response to the LPC’s consultation over the NMW rates is attached.

When George Osborne introduced the National Living Wage in April 2016, the Government loudly claimed that it would be worth 60% of median wages (£9 per hour) by 2020. Following last week’s Budget statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that the National Living Wage will be worth £8.56 per hour by 2020 on current wage trends.

It should also be noted that the Living Wage Foundation (calculated by charities and think tanks) announced on 6th November increases to £10.20 p.h. in London and to £8.75 p.h. in the rest of the country.

On the accommodation offset, it is disappointing that it will again increase significantly. RMT will continue to argue for the abolition of this charge on minimum wage workers, particularly in the shipping industry. It should be noted that neither the LPC nor the Government appear to know how many shipping companies are claiming the accommodation offset or how many seafarers are affected by it.

Any member who is unsure whether they are being paid the NMW is advised to use this online calculator to establish their real hourly rate of pay:

Complaints of non-payment of the NMW should be made via the Acas Pay & Rights helpline, 0300 123 1100 which is staffed Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm.

It would be appreciated if members and Branches could send any information or evidence of employers paying below the NMW to the National Policy Department on 0207 529 8281 or so that we can follow these cases up with HMRC’s NMW Enforcement Team.

I should also inform you that the Legal Working Group on Seafarers and the NMW which the union sits on, had its final meeting in November. The final recommendation to Government on application and enforcement of the NMW for seafarers in the UK shipping industry is awaiting agreement. The Legal Working Group’s recommendation will be circulated to you as soon as it is available, which we are expecting before the end of the year.

I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all members in your Branch.

Yours sincerely


Mick Cash
General Secretary