Many self-employed actors and other creatives starting out in their career will also have a part-time job to pay the bills. It is important to make sure that you are paid the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage depending on their age.
The National Minimum Wage is the minimum hourly pay most workers are entitled to be paid by law in the United Kingdom. The rate of pay depends on the age of a worker and if they are an apprentice.
The National Living Wage was introduced on 1 April 2016 for all working people aged 25 and over.
The rates of pay change every April. The rates from the 1 April 2017 will be:
- £7.50 per hour – 25 yrs old and over
- £7.05 per hour – 21-24 yrs old
- £5.60 per hour – 18-20 yrs old
- £4.05 per hour – 16-17 yrs old
- £3.50 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.
There are a number of people not entitled to the National Minimum Wage, one of which is the self-employed. However; any self-employed actor will still be entitled to the National Minimum Wage on any employment income.
It is illegal for employers to pay workers less than the National Minimum Wage. If an employer doesn’t pay the National Minimum Wage, a worker should try to resolve the issue informally in the first instance. If this doesn’t work a worker can then raise a formal grievance.
A worker can make a complaint about their employer to HMRC who will investigate further. If HMRC find that an employer has paid less that the National Minimum Wage, they can send a notice of arrears plus a penalty.
It is important to mention that the National Living Wage is different from the ‘Living Wage’. The ‘Living Wage is set independently by the Living Wage Foundation and is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.