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.

Your Rights

  • You can check if you are above the NMW from the payslips your employer should be providing you with. Simply divide your gross weekly wage by the number of hours you have worked to calculate your hourly wage
  • If you think that your employer is not paying the NMW you are also entitled to inspect the tax records they keep for your employment. They must give you access to these within 14 days of receiving a written request from you, but this should only be your final course of action after more friendly and informal communication between you has broken down
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.

information for domestic workers

Redundancy pay

There is a lot of confusion with regards to domestic employees and redundancy. Many people assume that because of the unique circumstances that exist between a domestic employee and their employer, they don’t qualify for redundancy pay. But providing they meet the requirements they are entitled to redundancy pay just like any other employee.

To qualify the employee must be 18 or over and have at least two years continuous employment. This means that they must have been working for the same household, without any breaks, apart from maternity, paternity, sickness and unpaid leave, for at least two years. They must also be working as an employee under an employment contract and have a PAYE scheme set up. This does not mean that they need to have a written contract, as some employers unfortunately don't provide this. They are still considered an employee working under a contract even if there is nothing in writing.

If an employer's circumstances change and they no longer have a full-time job to offer their employee and they want to employ someone on a part-time basis, the employer is required to first offer the "new" position to the existing employee. If they choose not to continue working for the employer under the new conditions they are still entitled to redundancy pay, unless they are on a fixed term contract.

The employee will also qualify for redundancy pay if their employer moves to a different part of the country, providing there is no relocation clause in the contract.

For current redundancy pay rates, please refer to the rates and thresholds page.

As long as the employee is on PAYE, they are legally entitled to these amounts; however, the employer is free to pay more than the statutory minimum at their discretion. The employer cannot claim any part of these costs back from the state. The employee does not have to pay tax on redundancy payments up to £30,000.

Please contact Stafftax if you wish to clarify any of the above points.