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Home Employers employment costs national minimum wage
National minimum wage & the working time directive PDF Print E-mail
It is a criminal offence for an employer to pay below the national minimum wage (except for exemptions - see below), currently carrying a fine of up to £5,000. The national minimum wage normally increases every year in October. For details on the current national minimum wage rate, please refer to our rates and thresholds page.

Only domestic staff who live as part of the family are exempt from the national minimum wage.  An employee who lives as part of the family household, is treated as a member of the family, and is not provided with separate accommodation is excluded from the national minimum wage. For employers who provide separate accommodation for their employees there is an allowance per seven-day week, which can be offset against the national minimum wage hourly rate.

Employees may need to check that their employers are paying them (at least) the current national minimum wage rate. Because many domestic employee’s wages are agreed on a net basis, this amount will have to be converted into its gross weekly equivalent and then divided by the number of hours worked in a week in order to establish whether it falls above or below the national minimum wage.

All employers are already required by law to give their employee regular payslips, which should show the gross wage and the tax and NI deducted to arrive at their net pay. Where friendly or informal communication between employer and employee has broken down, an employer must give their employee access to their PAYE records within 14 days of receiving a written request.

The working time directive
Domestic employees are exempt from the measures concerning working hours but are entitled to a 20 minute rest break for every six hours worked.


employment guide

Redundancy pay explained

Domestic employees also qualify for redundancy pay, providing they have been in continuous employment for at least two years.


employment law

Employing European nationals

Most nationals from the European Economic Area (EEA) can enter and work in the UK without restrictions. You will need to ask nationals from all EEA countries to produce a document showing their nationality since their are specific restrictions for certain nationalities.