What NMW protection is there for domestic workers
Workers who live-in within the family home of their employer and who are treated as a family member, not charged for accommodation or food, under National Minimum Wage Regulations 57(1). It defines that the term “work” does not include any work done in relation to an employer’s family household if the requirements set out in regulation 57(2) or (3) are met.
This is commonly referred to as the ‘family and domestic worker exemption’). In April 2023, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld an employment tribunal’s decision to disapply the family and domestic worker exemption on the basis that it was indirectly discriminatory against women.
So what is changing and when?
In response to the EAT judgement and to align NMW law, the government have laid the draft National Minimum Wage (Amendment) (No 2) Regulations 2023 before parliament.
This is expected to come into force and apply from 1st April 2024, at which point the family and domestic worker exemption from NMW will be revoked. From that date, live-in domestic workers previously covered by the exemption must be paid the national minimum wage.
NMW and April 2024
This change once approved is likely to align with another significant rise in National Living and National Minimum Wage rates, and also the reduction in National Living Wage starting age being reduced from 23 to 21.