Overtime taking salary below NMW

(14 Posts)
MaybesAyeMaybesNo Mon 15-Feb-21 19:18:26

Name changed for this.

I've been with my very small company for coming up 8 years and was promoted 2 years ago into a specialist role that was created for me. The industry is very seasonal and a typical year in my current role looks like this:

3 months 35 hours a week
3 months 37.5 hours a week
6 months alternating between 48 hours one week, 60 the next of unpaid overtime

My role is full on during the busy 6 months with stress and out of hours work. My issue is that my salary, while fair for my level of experience, IMO does not reflect the level of input required in the busy period. For example, if you calculate my salary weekly and divide it by a 60 hour week I'm working for less than NMW. Even worse, because I have a company car which is required for visiting different sites, after tax, in a 60 hour week I am taking home just under £6 per hour for what is a management level position with a lot of responsibility.

I am actively looking for a new job but in the meantime I don't know whether to raise this with my boss or not. On one hand it feels petty when it's not all the time but those weeks when I'm working long hours 7 days a week I just feel so demoralised that I've worked my ass off for so little.
Advice anyone?

OP’s posts: |
RainbowMum11 Mon 15-Feb-21 20:58:58

How does the hourly rate work out over the full year?

If you only use the company car for business trips, couldn't you ask for use of a 'pool car' instead.

NMW is pre-tax anyway, so taxable benefits aren't taken into the calculations.

flowery Mon 15-Feb-21 21:04:14

Add up how much below NMW you’ve been. See exactly how much you are owed.

Then look at the figure in front of you and ask whether you’d pay that amount of money to avoid being an inconvenience to your boss...

Chewbecca Mon 15-Feb-21 21:08:36

Why do you not want to raise it?

Generally NMW jobs are paid by the hour and you wouldn't expect to do unpaid overtime.

I would request that overtime is paid at your hourly rate.

ShouldIgonow Mon 15-Feb-21 21:10:41

But I could say the same for half the lawyers and doctors I know and have worked with. Some lawyers do 12 hour days - if deals easily over nighters ...

MaybesAyeMaybesNo Mon 15-Feb-21 21:22:11

I'm not paid hourly. Its an annual salary for a 37.5 hour week. Only in the busy period that goes out the window and I'm doing many more hours for no extra money. It's not just me but the whole team at that time of year, we all do unpaid overtime as the business is 24 hours a day at that point. If you average the total hours over the year then I'm paid above NMW. Its just those 6 months which skew it. I'm probably just venting as I'm the least experienced manager so get paid the least. The others who do lots of hours are on half again, double and triple what I earn...and are all men.

OP’s posts: |
flowery Mon 15-Feb-21 21:23:47

”If you average the total hours over the year then I'm paid above NMW. Its just those 6 months which skew it.”

No, that’s not how it works. You should get paid at least NMW for each pay period.

flowery Mon 15-Feb-21 21:24:49

”The others who do lots of hours are on half again, double and triple what I earn...and are all men.”

Are they doing equivalent level of work/responsibility to you?

TheUndoingProject Mon 15-Feb-21 21:27:52


There is information here about pay reference periods - in essence you must be paid the minimum wage, on average, for the time worked in a pay reference period, which cannot be more than 31 days.

So the fact it averages out over the year is irrelevant. You have to be paid more than minimum wage for your hours during your busy months.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 15-Feb-21 21:28:33

The others who do lots of hours are on half again, double and triple what I earn...and are all men.

There is research that men ask for raises and higher starting salaries. Ask!

MaybesAyeMaybesNo Mon 15-Feb-21 21:34:03

The one on half again has a similar level of responsibility as me but more experience. Others are more senior so I shouldn’t really compare. If I take my average hours for a busy monthly pay period it works out at just above NMW so not illegal but galling that I could be earning the same amount in low skilled job without the responsibility, mental load and stresses involved with my job (think complaint handling) and answering emails from 6am to 10pm.

OP’s posts: |
User0ne Mon 15-Feb-21 21:36:34

So you're being paid less because your female - illegal discrimination.

They're paying you less than the legal minimum.

And you feel bad?

Report to HMRC for breach of nmw regulations. Or point out to them what you have done here and tell them they need to back pay what they owe to at least the lowest paid male manager

AlwaysCheddar Tue 16-Feb-21 06:20:17

Don’t you need to have a gap of 11 hours between shifts?

Chewbecca Tue 16-Feb-21 08:28:57

I know you’re not paid hourly but you can still calculate an hourly rate and that is what is relevant to a NMW calculation and could be used to pay overtime.

I’m a bit confused now though as in your most recent post it says in an average busy monthly period you are still above NMW?

If I were you, I would lay out pay per month and average hours pm and average pay per hour per month. Then average hourly pay per year.
Then, if it still looks inappropriate for the role and responsibilities, take it to your mgr and request a pay rise.

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