Advice Column: National Living Wage

Thursday 22nd April

As part of the Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo advice column this week we focus on how to ensure you are receiving the national living wage.


I am over 25 and entitled to the National Living Wage, but I suspect I am being underpaid. How can I find out if I’m being paid the right amount, and claim what I am owed from my employer?


If you think you’ve been underpaid, you should act quickly. Check your payslip to see if there’s been some mistake. You will be able to see the number of hours you’ve worked, the rate you’ve been paid at and if there have been any deductions.


Ask your employer to explain anything you don’t understand on your payslip, and tell them why you think you have been underpaid. If there was a genuine mistake, ask your employer to pay you straight away. You shouldn’t have to wait until the next payday.


If your employer refuses to pay back your wages you can formally raise a grievance, either by writing a letter to your employer or following your company’s grievance procedure. Explain that you haven’t been paid enough and you want them to pay the difference.


If this still doesn’t work, you can take your employer to a tribunal. Contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) on 0300 123 1100, or visit, who will see if your employer will agree to a conciliation process, rather than go to court. Otherwise you can take your employer to a tribunal. Think carefully before starting a tribunal claim as it can be expensive and stressful.


From 1st April 2021, the Government has announced that the national living wage will apply if you are aged 23 and over, and will rise to £8.91 per hour. Otherwise, the following national minimum wage rates apply:


  • Aged 21 – 22 £8.36 per hour
  • Aged 18 – 20 £6.56 per hour
  • Aged under 18 £4.62 per hour
  • Apprentice £4.30 per hour



Further advice and information is available from


Look out for our column next week when we focus on the extension to the Job Retention (furlough) Scheme.


The information contained in these articles does not constitute advice. Citizens Advice Exeter and The Express and Echo accept no liability for the information published. Citizens Advice Exeter is unable to respond to individual requests for advice through these columns. Copyright Citizens Advice. For the most up-to-date information, please visit