Under the 2015 National Minimum Wage Regulations, an exemption applied to live in domestics, which decreed that a person carrying out tasks whilst living in an employer’s home is not work; and the employer was exempt from paying the minimum wage.
The purpose was to facilitate au-pair placements in the UK and, in exchange for accommodation, the au-pair would undertake light housework and/or childcare duties.
The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2023, removes this exemption following an employment tribunal case in 2017, which found that the exemption led to indirect discrimination; and it being looked at by the Low Pay Commission (LPC).
They found that some employers were often using this exemption to exploit domestic staff, often from overseas, and requiring the individual to work long hours and undertake more than the light work envisaged by the Government. The LPC recommended removal of the exemption and the Government accepted this proposal.
The change will come into force on 1 April 2024, when the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates increase, which we remind you below:
If you need support on managing your responsibilities in relation to minimum wage, or any other HR related issues, you can talk to our team today, or visit our HR services page to learn more about what we do.