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General Information

National Minimum Wage

A Short Guide for employers

What is the national minimum wage?

The national minimum wage is a legal right which covers almost all workers in the UK. It became law on 1 April 1999. On 1 October 2002 the main rate of the national minumum wage was raised to £4.20 an hour, from $4.10 an hour. The main rate applies from a worker's 2222 ndirthday.

On 1 October 2002 the development rate of the national minimum wage for workers aged 18 to 21 (inclusive) was raised to £3.60 an hour, from £3.50 an hour.

From 1 October 2002 if you take on a new worker aged 22 or over and are providing them with accredited training, you will have to pay at least £3.60 an hour (previously £3.50) for the first six months of their employment. In this case, you will have to come to an agreement with the worker committing you to provide training on at least 26 days during that six-month period. A detailed guide to the national minimum wage explains which kinds of training are accredited.

Will it apply to everyone I employ?

Most workers in the UK, including home workers, agency-workers, casual workers and pieceworkers, are entitled to the national minimum wage.

What counts as pay?

Not all the money you pay a worker counts as pay for the purposes of the national minimum wage. For example, incentives, bonuses and performance-related pay do count as pay, while allowances - which are not consolidated into an employee's basic pay do not. Extra money above basic rates that is paid for overtime or shift work does not count. Most benefits in kind such as uniforms, meals, or private health insurance are also excluded. The only benefit in kind which can be counted towards the national minimum wage is accommodation. There are special rules for calculating the value of accommodation towards the national minimum wage.

For a complete list of what does and does not count as pay, see A detailed guide to the national minimum wage.

What counts as hours?

The number of hours which you have to pay your workers the national minimum wage is calculated differently according to the type of work they do. There are four distinct types:

  • If you pay your workers for working a set number of hours or a set period of time, they are doing time work;
  • If your workers have a contract to work a set number of basic hours each year in return for an annual salary paid in equal instalments, they are doing salaried-hours work.
  • If you pay your workers according to the number of things they produce or sell they are doing output work.

What are my legal obligations?

You may be asked to prove that you are paying the national minimum wage. This means making sure you keep sufficient records (the detailed guidance gives some examples). If a worker makes a written request for access to his or her own records, you must allow him or her to see them within 14 days. This deadline can be extended with the worker's agreement. If a dispute arises, the burden will be on the employer to prove that the national minimum wage has been paid, rather than on the worker to prove that it has not.

How can I find out more?

For more detailed guidance, call the national minimum wage information line on 0845 8450 360 and ask for your free copy of A detailed guide to the national minimum wage

If you have any questions about the national minimum wage call the national minimum wage hohot linen 0845 6000 678

Calls will be charged at local rates. To help us improve the quality of our service, your call may be monitored or recorded. Any information you provide may be passed on to the national minimum wage enforcement officers.

Alternatively, you can write to National Minimum Wage Enquiries, Freepost PHQ1, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE98 1ZH or visit the DTI national minimum wage website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/nmw/

The information provided on this site is intended to provide general guidance only

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Special Events

During the summer months, many events take place.

The events cover a wide range such as birthdays, anniversaries, wedding receptions, charity events, dog and agricultural shows jobs are available with marquee companies as erectors or as helpers for catering companies or similar jobs involved with special events.

These sorts of jobs often pay overtime due to the extensive or weekend hours. A high percentage of contract catering companies are based in and around London.

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Summer Camp Jobs - Particularly in the United States and Europe.

It is often easy to get a summer job as a counsellor at a summer camp.
These sorts of jobs are available between late May and late August and often encompass a wide range of work.
A website such as www.campstaff.com or www.campchannel.com will be able to point you in the right direction as to who to contact for such a job. Specific jobs available can be seen on the site.

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Sports Jobs

For those who are really into sports, sports centres offer a variety of summer jobs.
Furthermore, beautiful and remote parts of the country such as the Lake District, or Scottish islands, are often looking for people willing to live in during the summer months.

The range of jobs varies from skilled work such as cooks, camp managers, sports instructors and fishing guides to unskilled work with no prior experience necessary.

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Hotel Jobs

The term 'hotel job' encompasses work in a wide variety of establishments from a five-star hotels to holiday resorts, and the summer months are the peak season for temporary employment.
Prior experience or actual qualifications are helpful in gaining employment but many unskilled or semi-skilled jobs are available.
There are over 10,000 Hotels in the UK and a great many of smaller establishments such as Caravan Parks and Bed and Breakfasts. Temporary jobs are more likely to be available in resorts such as Blackpool, Brighton, Bournemouth, Truro etc. On the south coast of England there are a number of holiday resorts and luxury hotels where work is available in the summer months.

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Restaurant Jobs

Finding a summer job working in a restaurant is often just a case of going around and applying for as many jobs as possible.
In the summer months, jobs are frequently available in restaurants in or near holiday resorts and in towns such as Brighton and Blackpool, which have a big seasonal work turnover, because of regular staff going on holiday etc. It is worth noting that the London area has one third of the restaurants in the UK and staff turnover can be as high as 50% per year in some restaurants so it is worth applying to as many restaurants as possible when seeking a job.
Providing a well structured CV and a neat appearance will aide you in your job search.

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Agricultural Jobs

A relatively wide range of agricultural-based jobs is available during the summer months.
For those wishing to try their hand at crop-picking, it is useful to know that there are regional differences in harvesting times; crops ripen earlier in the south than in the north, so if you wish to work later on in the summer, or visa-versa, it is advisable to find out roughly when the harvest times of different produce are.
For those wishing to work for an extended period of time during the summer, it is possible to do this by following the harvest season for the different crops around the country. There are a wide variety of other types of agricultural jobs available such as drivers tractors, clearing undergrowth, cutting hedge-rows, stacking hay and etc. We have tried to list as many jobs as possible on the site but a common sense approach is also to contact the local farmers in your area or to send your CV to them.

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