Colleague pays livein nanny less than minimum wage

(12 Posts)
joefrankenheimer Tue 15-Apr-14 16:59:10

My colleague has told me she pays less than min wage for her live-in nanny. She is Latvian, and the nanny is Latvian also - possibly with no English. My colleague said she doesn't need to pay min wage as she provides accommodation etc, but I really don't believe that's the law.

It's also suggestive that, if not min wage, then it's unlikely that proper payslips are being given, and tax paid etc.

Would you do anything about this?

Actually, I think the law does allow for this, since she is also getting accommodation, utilities, food etc as well as her wages.

insancerre Tue 15-Apr-14 17:02:54

i don't think minimum wage applies to live in nannies
would I do anything?
no, it's none of my business

mousmous Tue 15-Apr-14 17:03:14

afaik live-in counts as part of the income.
but someone else might be more knowledgable.

bu yes, if you colleague is the employer she needs o provide payslips etc.

joefrankenheimer Tue 15-Apr-14 17:09:24

It would be none of my business, but having been told this I feel I'm left with the ethical question.

quietlysuggests Tue 15-Apr-14 17:09:28

you have not got a clue.
your colleague does not have to pay minimum wage.
And therefore any assumptions you have made about wage slips etc are also wrong.
And your sly accusation that as her nanny does not speak English that what? She is practically a slave? Is being abused? Held against her will?
is laughable.
You are a busybody.
Did you know this about yourself?

quietlysuggests Tue 15-Apr-14 17:10:39

There is no ethical question.
Live in Nannies are exempt from the law.
You are wrong.
And a busybody.

Which ethical question?

The wages, or your assumption that she isn't paying tax?

She does seem to know what the law is, better than you do, so unless you are in the habit of assuming your friends are breaking the law, I think you'd be better keeping out of it.

'Less than minimum wage' isn't an ethical question in itself, in this situation. What would the nanny be paying for bed&board elsewhere if she wasn't living-in? Could be a huge proportion of the minimum wage. Could be unaffordable in your area.

Roseformeplease Tue 15-Apr-14 17:15:31

We used to own a business (hotel) employing live in staff. As far as I remember you could "charge" from wages for living in but there was a limit. I can't remember what it was but £60 a week sticks in my head (although this was 6 years ago) so you could pay the minimum wage less that amount. This was controlled by HMRC to stop people paying £200 a week and charging £199 a week for bed and board. We just charged £20 a week and then paid wages but could take the £20 before tax meaning it cost the person less, I think ( as it was paid out of untaxed income).

So, the short answer is that minimum wage legislation does cover this for hotel staff. Not sure it is the same for nannies. Also, she might be classed as an au pair?

joefrankenheimer Tue 15-Apr-14 17:15:44

I am glad to hear that I am wrong about minimum wage, and I am sure you're right I have no legal clue in this matter.

My 'accusation' that the nanny has no English does indeed link to my concern that, by turning a blind eye, someone is not being treated in line with the law. Your mention of slavery is a bit of a straw man - I would feel uncomfortable for someone to be exploited, even with their permission, even to the extent of only £1 per hour! You are right that I don't know enough about it to do anything, which is why I ask advice.

I disagree that I am busybody - I have made no comments to my colleague and have asked advice here as I felt uncomfortable with the situation.

joefrankenheimer Tue 15-Apr-14 17:28:11

For anyone that finds this thread, having looked on .gov websites with no clear answer, I found the below:
www.payefornannies.co.uk/parents/minimum_wage.htm

^If a nanny is provided with accommodation, an Employer can offset some of the cost of this against the nanny's wage for national minimum wage purposes. It should be noted however that the maximum allowable offset is £4.91 for each day accommodation is provided (£34.37 per week), rising to £5.08 from October 2014. If a nanny is residential and lives as part of the family, the minimum wage does not apply, so it is not necessary to use the offset.

Please note, only an employee who lives as part of the family (e.g. Eats meals with the family, socialises with the family and friends of the family) is not covered by the National Minimum Wage. All other employees are covered by the National Minimum Wage even if they live-in.^

The criterion here certainly is none of my business, so my discomfort at being told things that made me fear someone wasn't getting their due can be settled.

Thanks to all those who answered, and I hope some understood my feeling of second-order guilt. I really don't think it's terrible to feel such concern for a stranger.

sarahquilt Fri 18-Apr-14 23:03:34

Morally she should be paying a minimum wage.The girl probably doesn't know she's being done.

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