EMPLOYMENT STATUS: KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE YOUR RIGHTS DEPEND ON YOUR EMPLOYMENT STATUS. IF YOU’RE CLASSED AS A WORKER RATHER THAN A VOLUNTEER OR EMPLOYEE, YOU’RE DUE THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE.

MANY EMPLOYERS OFFERING ENTRY-LEVEL WORK EXPERIENCE WILL USE THE TERMS ‘INTERNSHIP’ AND ‘APPRENTICESHIP’ INTERCHANGEABLY. KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE WILL HELP YOU ATTAIN THE WAGES AND THE RIGHTS YOU’RE ENTITLED TO.

THE ONLY REASON AN INTERNSHIP WOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED A WORKER AND THEREFORE NOT PAID NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE IS IF:

  • YOU ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THE INTERNSHIP AS PART OF A UK BASED HIGHER EDUCATION COURSE
  • YOU ARE WORKING FOR A CHARITY OR VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION AND ARE RECEIVING EXPENSES E.G. FOOD AND TRAVEL
  • YOU ARE ONLY WORK-SHADOWING I.E. OBSERVING AN EMPLOYEE WITHOUT CARRYING OUT ANY WORK YOURSELF

UNLESS YOU FALL UNDER ANY OF THOSE EXCEPTIONS, YOU ARE LEGALLY ENTITLED TO NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE AS SHOWN IN TABLE BELOW – NOTHING LESS IS LEGAL!

APPRENTICESHIP MINIMUM WAGE, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS £3.90 AN HOUR. (UNLESS YOU ARE OVER 19 AND COMPLETED THE FIRST YEAR OF YOUR APPRENTICESHIP – IN WHICH CASE YOU SHOULD BE RECEIVING NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE FOR THE REST OF YOUR APPRENTICESHIP)

THAT SUCKS.

BECAUSE AN APPRENTICESHIP SHOULD HAVE A QUALIFICATION OF SORTS AT THE END. IT SHOULD LAST AT LEAST A YEAR, AND IT IS NORMALLY RELATED TO LEARNING A CRAFT.

YEAR25 AND OVER21 TO 2418 TO 20UNDER 18APPRENTICESHIP
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
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE CHART UK

OFFICIAL GOV.UK SITE ON YOUR RIGHTS

WHO TO CONTACT WHEN YOU’RE NOT BEING PAID PROPERLY