• By Check-a-Salary
  • Posted Thursday 28 th June 2018

Getting paid more when on the minimum or living wage

Most, if not all of us want to be paid more. There are a few factors which influence your pay, the biggest of all being what you do. Certain roles, rightfully or wrongly get paid at extremes of the pay scale.

Minimum wage jobs

The minimum wage, in theory, was meant to provide the minimum someone needed to live on. The issue is that far too many jobs have now been classed as "minimum wage jobs", with quite a few paid just above.

Typical minimum wage roles would be:

  • Cleaners
  • Warehouse workers
  • Porters
  • Restaurant staff*
  • Bar staff
  • Shop assistants
  • Baggage handlers
  • Security staff
  • Factory workers
  • Farmworkers

*Will likely receive tips, pushing pay above the minimum wage (£50 a week in tips results in about £2500 a year). Assuming you are working 40 hours a week, on £7.83/hour, means £16,286 a year. With the tips, increases to £18,786, an increase of about 15%.

Bar staff, unlike servicing staff in a restaurant, are less likely to receive tips, for a role with a similar skill set, which has a significant financial consequence. You might be loosing out.


I heard a story where someone was offered a promotion from waitress to a manager. The issue was that she would be missing out on tips as a manager. Her take-home pay would end up being less than her current role, so be careful when accepting a promotion; you might end up with more responsibility, but less pay.

It should be said though, that long-term, she would probably have ended up being better off if they were promoted to general manager.

Staff Availability

In certain areas of the country, businesses are struggling to find staff for roles, so are starting to increase salaries. I heard about a restaurant chain, before tips, were paying serving staff £19,000 a year (outside of London). 

It has been widely reported that NHS staff, in certain instances, will be getting 20%+ pay rises over the next three years. This means that NHS cleaners will go from £15,404 to £18,005 by the end of 2021, an increase of 16.89%. 

London Weighting

Certain organisations, such as the NHS pay London Weighting, with a minimum of £4,200 a year for jobs in Inner London. This means that if you can get a transfer, your commute can easily stay the same, but your pay can increase substantially.


  1. Keep an eye out for jobs in the area. Your current role might now be paid above the minimum wage.
  2. With your experience, can you get a promotion? It might not be with your current employer
  3. Even if not an immediate pay rise, move into a different field, which has greater career progression.
  4. If you living on the boundary of where government workers get paid London Waiting, try getting a role with London Weighting


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