The National Minimum Wage
It is a criminal offence for an employer to pay below the National Minimum Wage (except for exemptions - see below), currently carrying a fine of up to £5,000. The National Minimum Wage (NMW) normally increases every year in October, please check our Rates and Thresholds page for the most up-to-date NMW rates.
Exemptions to NMW
Only carers or PAs who live as part of the family are exempt from the NMW. An employee who lives as part of the family household, is treated as a member of the family, and is not provided with separate accommodation is excluded from the NMW.
The Offset Allowance
For employers who provide separate accommodation for their employees (i.e. with a separate front door and separate metering for gas, electricity and water) there is an allowance per 7-day week, which can be offset against the NMW hourly rate. Please refer to the Rates page for the latest Offset Allowance figure.
Net wage agreements
Employees may need to check that they are being paid (at least) the current NMW rate. Because some domestic employee’s wages are agreed on a net basis, this amount will have to be converted into its gross weekly equivalent and then divided by the number of hours worked in a week in order to establish whether it falls above or below the NMW.
An employee's payslip should clearly show their gross wage as well as their net or take-home pay (once tax and NI have been deducted). An employer is legally required to provide a payslip each time they pay their employee.