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20yo Paid the same as other employees and now wages frozen at Minimum wage

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Hi, family member works at a garage, basically started helping her mother and the boss then gave her a job when someone left.

She was told by the boss that stacking shelves and manning tills is the same whether under 25 or over 25 so would be paid the same as everyone else (she started at 18yo).


Suddenly the boss brought in "CONTRACTS" for everyone (talking years later), under the reason that some folks had never been handed a copy and he should really be up to speed with his paperwork. Being friendly with everyone, they just thought he was being his usual paperwork late guy. This contract just went into duties, hours they were contracted to, other hours available etc, but nothing that stated about wages.


A few weeks later, he announces he has sold the business and everyone is being TUPE over. What followed was the usual teething problems with a move, clarification on certain points, negotiations on others but as a whole sort of went smoothly.


With the latest rise in the Minimum Wage everyone's pay went up to the new rate, apart from my daughters. She has remained at the previous pay rate, effectively marking time, no doubt.


I have said she should go speak to her manager/HR (big enough company for one of those now) and say she believes she should get the full raise as that is what she was employed under, the understanding that she is paid the same as all the other staff.


All the other staff agree that was the conditions they were employed under, so there is no shortage of evidence that this is the custom and practice in the workplace.


Apart from her going to HR to say believes she should be paid the same, is there something more substantial she can either say, or have in her back pocket if amicable discussions don't go as expected?



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So is the rate of pay at national minimum wage or more ?


They have to pay at least national minimum wage. If they are not, this can be reported and enforced.


If pay above NMW, but the pay rate is less than colleagues performing same role, the employers need to justify this.


I wonder whethe the job description/job grade that was part of the TUPE arrangement was different for your daughter compared to colleagues.   Have come across this before, that people have slightly different job role/grade and they are not aware of this. 




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Hi, cheers for reply.


They are all paid the maximum tier level for minimum wage (possibly the living wage, as was), which included my daughter getting the same rate and not the tier for her age.


All employees got the same contract and terms, her mother got the same contract as her, and she is not aware of any differences etc.. The office manager is also unaware of any differences, and as above, was under the impression they would all get the same. It will be one question that should get answered when she asks, but not obvious differences.


I have advised her to just jot a quick note to the office manager asking why she is not being paid the same and she feels she should be, is this some sort of oversight, or accidently put her on a different scale that she now has to mark time.


When they speak to her I can see her clamming up and taking them as gospel if they say anything different. So in the spirit of helping her in the employment world, I am hoping to give her a counter argument to at least get the ball rolling. It might not be needed and can be sorted amicably..... but just in case.



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Posted (edited)

I am confused. She was employed at 18, and the contracts were brought in "years later" - she surely can't have long to mark time then?


If it is not in her contract.. it is a gentleman's agreement and difficult to enforce.


In April the cut off point changed to 23, so no difference 23 - 25.



The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates: age, apprentices, previous years


Edited by Emmzzi
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Emmzzi, cheers for the reply, and sorry for so long to get back. Been hectic here.


She started at 18, 2 years ago, on top of that "Suddenly the boss brought in "CONTRACTS" for everyone (talking years later)", Sorry I didn't make it clearer but I was trying to say that everyone there got new contracts at the same time, some never had one and had been working just under the standard practice.


I was hoping that showing custom and practice, as well as staff were all under the same impression about equal pay etc. would be enough for her to go to her bosses. That got blown out the water when they re-read their contracts and in there it does state "8.72" (they were both adamant that there was no money value in their contract before the first post). So of course any rise in NMW would be applied to those where appropriate, and leaving my daughter marking time at £8.72


Anyway, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth that everyone got these "new contracts" as a tidy up exercise with no discussion and made to believe it was just an admin task.


Cheers for replies

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