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Salary equalling less than minimum wage

(60 Posts)
Auntieaunt Wed 23-May-18 22:09:06

I'm in my early to mid twenties - graduated uni not so long ago in a role that requires any degree - without too much detail it's entry level project management.

I started my job a few months ago and I work alongside others similar in age to myself in the same role. I enjoy my job as it's varied, my colleagues are great and does have rewarding aspects to it. However the Hours are just killing me.

Since Monday I've had 31 hours scheduled plus travelling/working in the evenings. I've had to quit all of my hobbies/volunteering as I'm never home and quite often I have to work weekends.

For my age my salary is fairly decent but after all the hours we're expected to put in I'm on minimum wage/sometimes less.

I've mentioned this to my line manager and he says that the experience/training we get is invaluable. Everyone around me works crazy long hours and after I had to have a day off last week during a family emergency as annual leave (worked 50 hours with that day off) I'm feeling seriously deflated.

Im not sure what to do. The responsibilities we get with this role will look really good on my CV so I'm worried to speak to management. I feel that I am good at my job and I don't mind pulling my weight but it's deflating that I earned more ph as a teen waitress.

Any advice?

BritInUS1 Wed 23-May-18 22:12:07

I think this is the case for these type of jobs, I know that when I started in accountancy, the hours were crazy.

I'm not saying it's right, but I imagine your contract says something like, you will work X hours a week, though overtime may be required and is unpaid.

passmetheloppers Wed 23-May-18 22:12:40

What hours does it say in your contract?

BellyBean Wed 23-May-18 22:14:54

I'm assuming it's a competitive industry. It's not right but unfortunately the ones who get promoted aren't the ones who kick up a fuss about hours.

KirstenRaymonde Wed 23-May-18 22:15:22

That’s the thing about salaries - you’re being paid to do the job, not for specific hours you work. You have to look at them differently.

adaline Wed 23-May-18 22:18:31

This is one of the disadvantage of salaried work, unfortunately. You're not paid on an hourly basis, you're paid to get the job done. And unfortunately that often involves lots of overtime and extra hours.

The government website actually states you're entitled to be paid at least minimum wage for any overtime (, but in reality that's rarely the case.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Wed 23-May-18 22:18:40

There are too many jobs like this. It's why I left my last job - I was actually earning less than minimum wage when I worked out my salary against the hours I put in.

I just found another job which is a shame because I actually enjoyed my job, just not the aggressive management and KPI culture.

DuckEgg86 Wed 23-May-18 22:19:52

That’s life! My DH is a lawyer and pack in 60-70 hour weeks not including travel or weekend work!

You’re not on an hourly rate you’re on a salary. These type of roles do generally require you to work beyond your contracted hours - later in life you’ll hopefully reap the rewards. If you an hourly paid job they are often less skilled. You may get paid more at one stage but later in your career this will slow down.

Good luck!

QuoadUltra Wed 23-May-18 22:20:50

You need to tell us more about the job and the prospects. ‘Invaluable experience’ is often just bullshit. You could get the experience on half the hours.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Wed 23-May-18 22:30:25

I can't help thinking that employers deliberately make the salary look attractive but are dishonest about the number of hours necessary in order to do the job - It's a scam really, a way to get people to work for less than minimum wage but not be prosecuted for doing so

Blankiefan Wed 23-May-18 22:46:16

You need to look at the longer term. I worked heavy hours in my 20s and early 30s and rose to a senior level. Now in my 40s, I'm comfortable with the level I'm at and no longer want to progress any higher so have pulled back my hours. I probably do about 45-50 hours per week now (and don't have to travel much) for six figures. I wouldn't have gotten here doing 45 hours per week.

If your role doesn't have good prospects, I wouldn't do it.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow1 Wed 23-May-18 22:48:16

I think a lot of you are missing the point completely.

The OP doesn't mind working long hours - it's being paid less than minimum wage for it she objects to, and rightly so.

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 23-May-18 22:49:23

What’s the career progression? In certain industries it is just expected of you in the early years especially.

Auntieaunt Wed 23-May-18 22:50:30

I guess I knew this but I'm just tired and have a lot of work on my plate.

I feel like im a third year at uni going to sleep with my laptop and waking back up to work. I literally wake up in the middle of the night with work on my mind.

Work isn't too challenging but it's a lot of responsibility and a lot of deadlines.

Management have hinted a couple of times that our next year i'll be getting a promotion with a few grand increase - even with the increased salary it's still crazy low per hour.

NewYearNewMe18 Wed 23-May-18 22:50:38

Are you a teacher ?

GalwayWayfarer Wed 23-May-18 22:54:31

It's very difficult. When I was a trainee solicitor I was routinely working 12 to 14 hour days and often working at weekends too, which meant I was earning far less than the minimum wage based on my actual hours. But it was worth putting up with because I knew the salary potential of the job was good. there is nothing wrong with you deciding that it isn't worth it, but think about whether the future earning potential this may give you makes it worthwhile.

ikeepaforkinmypurse Wed 23-May-18 22:54:56

there's was an interesting tv program about that, calculating the real salary per hour of various jobs.
I remember that soldiers in war zones were earning a shamefully low amount.

I don't know many people who had a life outside their office for the first few years to be honest, and I've never even calculated my per hour rate. It wouldn't even occur to me to claim 1 or 2 hours overtime for a "normal" day. I look at the total , and the yearly bonus.

It's not really about your pay today, but the big picture. Some prestigious companies offer even ridiculous low salary, because they can get away with it: candidates are so keen to put their name on their cv, which opens the door to anything in a few years time, that they show how keen they are by applying.

BakedBeans47 Wed 23-May-18 22:55:33

It doesn’t matter if you’re salaried. You still have to earn above the minimum wage. If your hours drop your average pay per hour during your pay period below the minimum wage then they are falling foul of the law if they don’t top your pay up to the minimum wage. Wouldn’t it be a shame if someone reported your employer to HMRC and they ended up named and shamed in the press.

BakedBeans47 Wed 23-May-18 22:56:34

You do need to look at it over your whole pay period, though, and not on a daily/weekly basis

LaurieFairyCake Wed 23-May-18 23:02:19

Well we’d have to report a lot of the public sector

It was only when dh’s salary got over £50k did he earn minimum wage for the hours he did - (teacher - slt).

PetulantPolecat Thu 24-May-18 07:40:00

“Wouldn’t it be a shame if someone reported your employer to HMRC and they ended up named and shamed in the press.”

Press wouldn’t be interested because it’s an expected and a norm in many firms. There’s a reason your mates gradually all seem to be your coworkers in your 20s....

Whatshallidonowpeople Thu 24-May-18 07:43:08

Hahahahahahaha welcome to the real world

BevBrook Thu 24-May-18 07:44:19

“The press” is probably staffed with a boatload of journalists in exactly the same situation!

BakedBeans47 Thu 24-May-18 07:46:16

Press wouldn’t be interested because it’s an expected and a norm in many firms.


HMRC produce lists of companies who haven’t complied with NMW and BBC etc publish this. Ranging from big companies to tiny ones, owing small amounts to thousands. So you couldn’t be more wrong actually.

You lot who are condoning this are not only condoning illegality but are mugs as well if you put up with it. If her average pay over her pay period drops below the minimum wage her employer is breaking the law. I’m a highly qualified professional myself who has put in the hours and still do. I don’t let myself get shat on.

BakedBeans47 Thu 24-May-18 07:48:49

Honestly people are so frustrating. They moan about employers and how they have so many rights , can treat staff like shit, and then the rights staff do have, they make no effort to enforce and still complain.

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