One in five apprentices did not receive the mandatory national minimum wage (NMW) in 2016, as employers appear to be tripping over the pay rules.
At present, apprentices are entitled to at least £3.50 per hour if they are under 19, or over 19 but in the first year of their apprenticeship. After this, they qualify for the rate of NMW for their age group.
A recent survey has discovered that incidences of apprentices receiving less than the rate of NMW they are entitled to rose sharply from 13% for those aged 16-18 or in the first year of their apprenticeship, to 32% for those aged 19-20 in the second year of their apprenticeship.
Hairdressing apprentices were most likely to be underpaid the NMW, with 46% reporting they received less than the legal wage for their toil in 2016. Management apprentices were most likely to receive at least the correct NMW, with just 7% saying they had not.