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

Can domestic staff be self-employed?

"Can't I just ask my employee to sort out their own tax?" this is a question we're frequently asked by potential employers. Whether someone is employed or self-employed depends on the terms and conditions of their work. It is important for all employees to know their employment status as it affects employment and benefit rights, and how to pay tax and National Insurance Contributions.

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employment costs

Always agree a gross wage with your employee

Employers often agree a net (i.e. take-home) wage with their employee, but in reality they are always paid a gross salary, with tax and National Insurance Contributions deducted and paid to HMRC on a quarterly basis by the employer. Although many domestic employers tend to look on this as an additional cost, it is actually part of the employee's gross wage.

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employment law

Introducing our legal service

Your annual subscription to Stafftax entitles you to unlimited use of our Legal Advice help-line. We encourage you to make as much use of this service as you need to manage your domestic employment relations effectively. If you require clarification or advice about any employment issue, other than payroll, then please call or email the Legal Advice helpline.

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