Is minimum wage going up in 2023 and how much will it go up to?

With both the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage set to rise, we look at how much the increase will be

A person using a calculator next to a pile of coins and payslips
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, many want to know if minimum wage will be going up this April.

In a time when we're all tightening our purse strings and looking for ways to save money, many have been eager to know when Universal Credit is going up and if child benefit is going up, as inflation remains high. 

Now, many are asking the same of minimum wage as we near the end of the financial year. With railway workers, teachers, nurses and many more public sector workers striking over pay in recent months, it's no surprise that a people all over the country want to know if they are entitled to a bigger pay check. So, we've rounded up everything you need to know about minimum wage in 2023.

Is minimum wage going up in 2023?

Minimum wage is going up on April 1 2023. The rise will see both the National Minimum Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) and the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) increase.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt made the announcement that minimum wage would be going up during his Autumn Statement in November 2022. The decision was supported by the Low Pay Commission (LPC), an independent expert advisory board that makes recommendations to the government.

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It's expected that the change will benefit around 2.5 million people, and the move is part of the government's aim to close a financial gap by raising taxes by £22 billion and cutting spending by £33 billion.

How much is the minimum wage going up to in April?

The National Living Wage is increasing by almost 10% to a rate of £10.42 per hour in April 2023, while the minimum wages for those aged 21 to 22, 18 to 20, under 18 and apprentices will also be increasing.

In their 2022 report, the LPC recommended that the National Living Wage should increase by by 9.7 per cent (92 pence) in April 2023 to £10.42, in order to achieve the government's target of two-thirds of median earnings by 2024.

They added the estimation that an increase of 6.3 per cent will be required in 2024 to achieve this target, which they currently estimate to be £11.08.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates:

  • 23 and over: Will increase from £9.50 to £10.42
  • 21 to 22: Will increase from £9.18 to £10.18
  • 18 to 20: Will increase from £6.83 to £7.49
  • Under 18: Will increase from £4.81 to £5.28
  • Apprentice: Will increase from £4.81 to £5.28

The apprentice minimum wage is for people under 19-years-old, or for people over 19-years-old but in their first year of the apprenticeship. If an apprentice is over 19-years-old and they have finished the first year of the programme, they receive minimum wage for their age group.

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Did minimum wage go up in 2022?

Minimum Wage went up on April 1, 2022 for those aged 23 years and older. Rishi Sunak - who was Chancellor at the time - first announced the increase on October 27, 2021 as part of his Autumn Budget. 

Ministers viewed the increase in minimum wage as the way to tackle what former PM Boris Johnson called, the "low-wage, low-cost approach" to the economy. 

"That's the direction in which the country is going now. Towards a high-wage, high-skilled, high-productivity and, yes, thereby a low-tax economy," he said. "That is what the people of this country need and deserve. Yes, it will take time, and sometimes it will be difficult. But that is the change that people voted for in 2016."

Who benefits from the rise in minimum wage?

The lowest earners who are on the National Living Wage (over the age of 23) will benefit from the recent rise, as well as workers who are of 'school leaving age' (currently age 16).

Workers entitled to the minimum wage include casual labourers, part-time workers, agency workers, trainees or those on probation, foreign workers and offshore workers.

However, those who are not entitled to the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage include self-employed people, company directors, voluntary workers, members of the armed forces, higher and further education students on work experience or a work placement up to one year, workers younger than school leaving age and prisoners.

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Ellie Hutchings
Features Editor

Ellie is Goodto’s Feature Editor, having joined the team as a Junior Features Writer in 2022, and covers everything from wellbeing for parents to the latest TV and entertainment. Ellie has covered all the latest trends in the parenting world, including baby names, parenting hacks, and foodie tips for busy families. She has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University, and previously Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies.