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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

Stafftax for domestic employers

When you employ domestic staff in the UK you not only have to find the best possible candidate for your household, you also become an employer.  As such you take on a host of responsibilities. For instance, you must draw up an employment contract with your employee within eight weeks of their start date and give them a payslip every time they get paid.  It is also a legal responsibility that you have employer’s liability insurance. 

In addition you must also make sure that you pay your employee at least the national minimum wage or above, so you need to have a good understanding of the basics of employment law. It's surprisingly easy to make mistakes when you're juggling issues such as holiday entitlement, statutory sick pay, benefits in kind, statutory maternity pay and redundancy pay. At Stafftax we can take care of the payroll aspects for you so you can concentrate on the your family, your household and the more important things in life.

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employment law

Make sure your employee is legally entitled to work in the UK

All UK employers are now required by law to make basic checks on every person they intend to employ in order to establish that they have a right to work in the UK and are here legally. You must not make assumptions based on the person's appearance or accent.

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