The National Minimum Wage regulations currently provide an exemption from paying the national minimum wage to individuals who live in the family home of the employer and are treated like members of the family, particularly where accommodation and meals are provided and tasks and leisure activities are shared. Essentially, this exemption applies to au pairs, nannies and companions.
Under a proposed change to the regulations which is expected to come into force on 1 April 2024, this exemption will be scrapped. The effect will be that only the exemption that applies to actual family members who reside in the home and carry out domestic duties will continue.
Its removal was recommended by the Low Pay Commission following an employment tribunal’s decision to disapply its equivalent provision under an older version of the regulations on grounds that it was indirectly discriminatory against women.
This amendment will have practical implications for all employers who currently engage live-in workers and offer remuneration below current rates, if at all. Please however note that these rates will be subject to increase at the time that this legislative change is implemented.
If you employ a live-in domestic worker and require any advice on how this change may affect you, then get in touch with a member of our Employment Team now.
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