The National Minimum Wage (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2023 has been laid in draft before Parliament, with a commencement date of 1st April 2024. This Amendment, if approved by Parliament, will remove the exemption contained in regulation 57(3) of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, which aligns with the Government’s commitment (made in March 2022) to remove the Family Worker Exemption from National Minimum Wage legislation. Hope for Justice joined other NGOs to campaign for this change.
What does this mean?
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has previously confirmed that the Family Worker Exemption is unlawful. The exemption excludes domestic workers who live in their place of work from gaining the National Minimum Wage, as they are seen as family members instead of workers, and therefore lose entitlement. This breeds the grounds for human trafficking by not guaranteeing the National Minimum Wage and enabling exploitation through the withholding of wages.
Phillipa Roberts (pictured), Head of Policy and Research at Hope for Justice, comments: “We welcome the move to improve the protection afforded to domestic workers and childcare workers by closing a legal loophole which allowed them not to be paid minimum wages, or any wages at all if the worker was ‘treated as a member of the family’. Ensuring that workers are made aware that they have this right to the minimum wage, and ensuring that right is enforced effectively will be key.”
Hope for Justice would like to acknowledge the great work done by the Anti-Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Unit (ATLEU) to bring this legislation forward, including the legal challenge brought by them previously which resulted in the Employment Tribunal finding the Family Workers Exemption to be unlawful.
What can I do?
To learn more about the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2023, you can read the Regulations and Explanatory Note.