information for domestic workers
All domestic employers in the UK are required by law to pay at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW). It is a criminal offence for an employer to pay below the NMW, carrying a fine of up to £5,000 on conviction, unless you're living as part of the family household (i.e. without separately metered accommodation). For current NMW rates, please refer to our rates and thresholds page.
Domestic employees are exempt from the measures concerning working hours but are entitled to a 20 minute rest break for every six hours worked.
|Always insist on a gross wage with your employer|
Many domestic employees and domestic agencies still discuss salaries in terms of net (i.e. take-home) and consequently many domestic workers have net-wage agreements with their employers. Although it is understandable that what you are ultimately interested in is how much money you have in your pocket at the end of each week or month, the reality is that you are always paid a gross wage, with tax and National Insurance Contributions paid to HMRC by your employer on your behalf. By insisting to discuss your salary in terms of net you could actually be doing yourself a disservice, as many employers end up considering the tax and NI contributions as additional costs, whereas they are actually part of your gross wage.
Domestic employment is most certainly the only profession left in the UK where wages are still commonly agreed on the basis of net (i.e. take-home) pay. It is surprising that this outdated arrangement has not yet been dispensed with, as there are considerable financial implications at stake. The following points briefly explain why a net pay agreement is disadvantageous to all domestic employees