‘Live-in’ domestic workers to become entitled to minimum wage

Employers of au pairs, nannies and other live-in domestic workers will have to pay them the minimum wage as a result of proposed changes to the rules

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Currently, live-in domestic workers living in the family home can be paid less than the National Minimum Wage. Following recommendations from the Low Pay Commission, this exception looks set to be repealed from 1 April 2024, increasing the costs of taking on such staff.

Workers are ‘live-in’ if they live in the family home and are treated as part of the family – for example, they are not charged for accommodation and meals, and participate in family chores and leisure activities.

The aim is to reduce abuse of such workers by their employers – for example, requiring them to work more hours than was agreed and/or to always be on call to help out, leaving no time for other activities (such as English lessons), and giving them different, lower quality meals than the family.

Note that the rules regarding payment of live-in family members are unaffected.

Employers of au pairs and other live-in domestic workers should monitor proposals outlined on the GOV.UK website that such workers should be paid the national minimum wage, and plan accordingly.

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