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AIBU to pay an single parent mother minimum wage?

(86 Posts)
Zodiacsunshine Thu 28-May-20 21:53:58

Admittedly I’m a bit out of touch with what would be acceptable. I’m starting my own business and with the current economy situation I’ve had to reevaluate my outgoings. I’m going to offer a single mother on UC full time work ( reception ). I know she will want the job as I know she is desperate but I really can’t offer more at this point. I will absolutely review this in six months with a view to raise it as I think it will be ok then. She is 40 with one school age child. Plus I think she will be an asset so happy to pay more when I know we will be stable

I’m concerned that.

1) she will think I’m taking the piss

2) it might mess her benefits up and not be worth it for her.

I don’t know anything about being on benefits. She will be my only staff member

Any ideas will be welcomed.

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Zodiacsunshine Thu 28-May-20 21:57:39

Oh some one has posted YABU can you tell me why please?

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changedmynameforlockdown Thu 28-May-20 22:02:39

If she doesn't want to do it for NMW she is free to turn it down, isn't she. Being a receptionist would appeal to me more than other NMW work such as shop work etc..

TiptopJ Thu 28-May-20 22:03:18

I would use job search sites and any other resources to find out what the average wage is for the role you're offering with the level of experience youre willing to accept. If its higher than minimum wage (I'm not sure it would be though ) then you'd be unreasonable, if your offering the average wage then you're absolutely fine. I cant help with the benefits sorry but then I think thats down to the person accepting the role to work out not the employer.

changedmynameforlockdown Thu 28-May-20 22:03:37

I'm a single parent, I've never been offered higher wages to compensate for that!

thecatsthecats Thu 28-May-20 22:03:56

Take her situation out of the equation.

Find out the going rate for full time receptionist work in your area and THAT will tell you how fair you're being. But at the end of the day, you aren't in a position to decide what's best for her - and I've seen a lot more employment situations turn sour because the employer has taken an overbearing degree of responsibility for an employee rather than keeping it professional.

Even a low paid role can be just what someone needs to get them on the job market again with a good reference for their next position.

Zodiacsunshine Thu 28-May-20 22:04:04

Thanks charged would it mess her benefits up?

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SquirtleSquad Thu 28-May-20 22:04:08

So on universal credit you get a set allowance that you can earn "free" and then any earnings above that they deduct from your benefits entitlement something like 60p for every £1 you earn.

Minimum wage really isn't enough to live on but only you know your individual business and accounts and what you can genuinely afford.

MayDayHelp Thu 28-May-20 22:07:04

If she’s on UC she would likely be better off working for minimum wage than not working at all. It does tend to favour those in work. She may not be LOADS better off but at the same time she won’t be getting threatened with sanctions etc for not working by her UC advisor, although I believe they’ve temporarily eased off that due to the virus.

Viviennemary Thu 28-May-20 22:07:54

I think you need to stop worrying about her circumstances and benefits. You need to put on your business head and say this is the rate for the job. And later if you can afford it and she proves to be a good worker you can give her a pay rise. Or even a Christmas bonus.

Gammeldragz Thu 28-May-20 22:09:21

It won't 'mess up' her benefits, technically she should still be better off. It doesn't always work that way but it is meant to. Yes, her benefits will reduce, but she will still get child tax credit (or UC equivalent) and child benefit. If she rents she will likely still get housing benefit (or some UC if she's on that system).
She should be better off, but more importantly she will be working and therefore building up a work history, skills, NI contributions and eventually be paid better.

Zodiacsunshine Thu 28-May-20 22:09:28

Thanks for the responses. I know I need to mind my own business but worry that the job offer will be a double edged sword. She’s a family friend who’s been through the mill and needs a peg up to get back on her feet.

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jerometheturnipking Thu 28-May-20 22:09:29

You need to stop worrying about her circumstances and pay what you feel is an appropriate wage for the job that needs done and the skill level expected to be able to complete the job to a satisfactory standard.

lockdownstress Thu 28-May-20 22:11:36

Aren't you going to advertise the job and see who applies? If no-one, then you aren't paying enough.

Zodiacsunshine Thu 28-May-20 22:12:46

No I’m not advertising I want to offer it to her. She will be an asset and she needs it

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AHippoNamedBooBooButt Thu 28-May-20 22:13:45

If she's on UC make sure you pay her 12 equal payment, so a salary in effect, do not pay weekly or 4 weekly. And pick a payment date that wont screw her over due to bank holidays. This is because UC runs on a monthly basis, so say your claim started on the 25th, then it runs from the 25th-25th every month. If you pay 4 weekly then once a year she would be paid twice during that period which would mean all her benefits are stopped as they think she is suddenly earning double. Also as decemebr 25th is always a bank holiday, you would pay her in advance again and then she would go the next month with no benefits.
That would be my only advice, pick a date and pay the exact same every month.

LycraLovingLass Thu 28-May-20 22:15:35

Surely it's on her to check if it's workable for her, not you.

Zodiacsunshine Thu 28-May-20 22:15:55

AHippoNamedBooBooButt that’s brilliant thank you. gin

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AHippoNamedBooBooButt Thu 28-May-20 22:17:47

And dont give a christmas bonus unless you give that as cash or gift cards etc, definitely no extra wage

Zodiacsunshine Thu 28-May-20 22:20:17


Thank you again! I was going to give her a bonus at xmas. I’ll do it as you suggested.

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VodselForDinner Thu 28-May-20 22:22:23

OP, I mean this nicely, but you have to remove emotion from this or you’ll end up learning some very hard lessons. Pay the market rate for the job in your area, then it’s up to her whether to accept it or not.

If she goes on to have two more children, are you going to double her salary? No.

If she gets married and is no longer a single mum, will you cut her hours to reduce the wage bill? No.

Leave family situations out of it.

converseandjeans Thu 28-May-20 22:26:48

You might find she wants to do less than FT as she'll earn less once she's over a certain amount? Would it work if she did school hours e.g. 9.30-2.30?

AHippoNamedBooBooButt Thu 28-May-20 22:27:27

Gregg's gave a christmas bonus and it screwed over a lot of people. It's a really rubbish system. We are still on the old tax credit system (which is based on your overall annual income) and I dread being moved to UC as dh is paid 4 weekly.

Zodiacsunshine Thu 28-May-20 22:28:00

I hear what your saying! Thanks for your input

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HollowTalk Thu 28-May-20 22:28:47

If you give a bonus at Christmas, make sure she knows it's a one-off and not to be expected, because next year you might not be able to afford it.

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