EEA Advises Employers to be Prepared

Posted on 29th March 2019

With the average grooms salary increasing by up to £988 per year as the National Minimum Wage (NMW) increases on April 1 2019, the Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) is advising all employers to be prepared.

Based on an employee working 50 hours a week and being paid the NMW, new rates mean that those aged 21-24 will receive an extra £832 per year (£69.33 per month) and those over 25 years will receive an additional £988 per year (£82.33 per month).

Lucy Katan, Chief Executive of the Equestrian Employers Association said, “The increase in NMW is now adding to the challenges of running an equestrian business. Something has to change, and it will not be the NMW, that is the law. 

A recent poll revealed that only a third of equestrian employers had increased their prices of livery or coaching in the last 18 months. On the 1st April, in all other sectors prices will go up, it is absolutely reasonable for the equestrian sector to follow suit.

This is understandably a topic that for years has been swept under the carpet, but the time has come for it to be discussed openly.”

A new survey conducted by the British Grooms Association showed an ‘improvement’ in compliance, with 67% reporting they are on, or paid above the current National Minimum Wage. Yet 41% of these are working extra hours and not paid overtime or having time off in lieu, questioning if they are actually compliant after all!

Worryingly, only 53% reported having received a written statement of terms of employment (contract), with just 57% receiving payslips; both are basic employment rights that are continuing to be ignored by some equestrian employers. 

“While it is important for your business to remain competitive in the services you offer, it is imperative that you employ staff within the law otherwise you are risking yourself and your business. The Equestrian Employers Association is here to support your business” added Lucy.

As of April 1 2019, the National Minimum Wage will increase to:

25 and over – £8.21

21-24 years – £7.70

18-20 years – £6.15

Under 18 – £4.35

Apprentice rate – £3.90

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