Linnea Clarke

Apprentice NMW - Trial Periods



Does anyone know the official stance on the below query please?

Can Employers pay apprentices the apprentice NMW for the trial period that happens before the Apprenticeship official starts with the training provider? 


Do Employers have to pay age relevant NMW for the trial period, and then once enrolled officially on the Apprenticeship with the training provider, can Employers then decrease the pay to Apprentice NMW?

I have tried contacting ACAS but they referred me to HMRC who I will also contact, but just seeing if anyone else has had any guidance on this?


No one has replied to this post.

Melanie Aspinall


The apprentice cannot be paid Apprentice NMW until at least the start date of the apprenticeship as recorded on the apprenticeship agreement. See:

P363 The evidence pack must include the following:

P363.1 Confirmation from the employer that the apprentice is receiving a wage in line with the national minimum wage requirements and that the apprentice rate was not used prior to a valid apprenticeship agreement being in place. This confirmation can either be a copy of th employment terms and conditions or a written statement regarding wages on the signed commitment statement.

Gaynor Hunt

Just to add fuel to the fire...... we were recently made aware by an industry sector body that employing learners on a trial basis (to assess suitability/commitment) could exempt the employer from being able to claim the Hire a New Apprentice Payment currently on offer from the Apprenticeship Service.  We were informed that, by having learners on a trial basis prior to undertaking an apprenticeship, this counts as already being employed by the employer.  The Hire a New Apprentice Payment specifically states for NEW EMPLOYEES........