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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47349
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I'm a gap year student and have a contract as a school gap

Resolved Question:

I'm a gap year student and have a contract for work as a school gap assistant I'm being asked to work 14 hourly days for 6 days a week at the end of each moth I receive 500 pounds I also have accommodation and food provided.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

What specifically would you like to know about this?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is this legal of my employer?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Sorry I was called into a meeting earlier. How old are you?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
18
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. When you are a worker you are usually entitled to receive the National Minimum Wage. The rate of 18-20 year olds is currently £5.30 per hour. So you are entitled to receive at least that rate for the hours you are working. If you work 14 hour days over 6 days a week then your wages should be in the region of £445 a week.

There are certain exemptions, for example if you are an apprentice or if you are a family worker where you are provided with food and accommodation but for this to apply you must be treated as being part of a family and take part in family activities, such as a nanny. It would not really apply to you.

Saying that, there is a provision for certain pay and benefits to count towards the minimum wage you should get and accommodation is one of them. The only non-cash benefit provided to the worker that should be taken into account is the value of any accommodation provided by the employer. Currently the employer can deduct a maximum of £5.35 a day for accommodation allowance. So even over 6 days a week the maximum they can reduce your pay by would be £32, giving you a minimum wage entitlement of approximately £413 a week based on the hours you work.

So I would say that it is unlikely the employer is acting lawfully here because they are not paying you the National Minimum Wage rates which you are entitled to by law.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have of challenging this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.

Ben Jones and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. If you are being less than the National Minimum Wage then there are a couple of options for you.

First of all this potentially amounts to an unlawful deduction from wages, which is made illegal under the Employment Rights Act 1996.

In order to try and resolve this, the employer should be contacted in writing, advised that this is being treated as unlawful deduction of wages and ask them to pay back the money within 7 days. Advise them that if they fail to pay the money that is owed, legal proceedings could follow.

If the employer does not return the money as requested, the Employment Tribunal is available to take it further - the time limit to claim is only 3 months from the date the last non-payment was made. To make the claim, form ET1 needs to be completed and submitted - you can find it here: https://www.employmenttribunals.service.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

You can also complain to the National Minimum Wage helpline about the employer.