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.

employment guide

Payslips and employment contract

You must give your employee a payslip every time you pay them, and you must also give them a contract of employment within two months of their starting date.

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employment costs

Wealth warning

Domestic employment is probably the only profession left in the UK where wages are still commonly agreed on the basis of net (i.e. take-home) pay. But there are considerable financial implications at stake for both employer and employee.

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employment law

Basic document checks

According to the Asylum and Immigration Act 2006 all UK employers have a legal duty to make basic document checks on each person they intend to employ in order to establish that they have a right to work in the UK and are here legally.

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