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NSN in the News: Live-in nannies celebrate historic victory


Government scraps exemption to the minimum wage rule which saw some workers paid as little as £1 an hour

Originally posted on FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2022 by BETHANY RIELLY.

LIVE-IN nannies are celebrating a historic victory after ministers scrapped an exemption to the minimum wage rule which saw some workers paid as little as £1 an hour.

Under the “family worker exemption” introduced in 1999, employers did not have to pay workers the minimum wage providing they lived in their house and were treated as part of the family.

Grassroots group the Nanny Solidarity Network, which has been campaigning to scrap the loophole, said it had created “an invisible, exploited group of migrant women, unable to report abuse and entirely dependent on their host family.”

Instead of light housework, workers described long hours, leaving no time to study English.

Others said they were expected to share a room with the kids or sleep on a mattress on the floor, with some paid as little as £1 an hour.

One woman, who worked as an au pair for a year in London, told the Morning Star today she was given just £100 a week by her host family for around 30 hours of work, amounting to roughly £3 an hour.

The former au pair, who did not wish to be named, said the initial agreement with the family was to help out with the children. But over time, she was asked to wash and iron the parents’ clothes and clean the house, and was often required to find her own meals.

She said the government’s decision to scrap the exemption “means a lot for me and so many nannies and au pairs that faced difficult situations.

“It is a beginning of better conditions and more assistance for these workers that weren’t looked after before and are finally getting their voices heard.”



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