national minimum wage


Dear Colleagues,

National Minimum Wage

The rates of the National Minimum Wage have changed. There are three levels of minimum wage and a separate rate for apprentices. Also, shipping companies can legally deduct from the minimum wage a daily amount from seafarers’ wages for accommodation costs (the ‘accommodation offset’).

The rates from 1st October 2012 are:


Current rate

Oct 2012

% increase





18-20 year olds




16 and 17 year olds




Apprentice rate (under the age of 19 plus older apprentices in the first year of their course)




Accommodation offset (seafarers)




In submissions to the Low Pay Commission, the RMT will continue to argue that the National Minimum Wage must be set at a significantly higher level to ensure that all workers are kept out of poverty; that the regulations must be extended to all seafarers serving in UK territorial waters to help safeguard minimum standards and that the age-related NMW rates should be abolished and the full adult rate be paid from 16 (until the school leaving age is raised to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015).

The Union will also continue its campaigns for the NMW to be set at half male median earnings as soon as possible, building towards the eventual goal of two-thirds of male median earnings and for the abolition of the accommodation offset levied on seafarers on the NMW.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Crow

General Secretary