National Minimum Wage – Additional exemptions from October 2009Wednesday, June 17th, 2009
In an Impact Assessment document on the increases to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) from October 2009, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced that the Regulations will be amended to exempt Erasmus students and Comenius assistants from the NMW. The Erasmus and Comenius programmes are a part of the European Commission’s Leonardo da Vinci programme, which funds work placements for trainees, workers and staff across 31 EU and other countries. An exemption from the NMW for Leonardo participants was included in the Regulations in October 2007.
Erasmus is a grant-based educational programme that enables Higher Education students and teachers to work and study for part of their degree in another country. Comenius similarly enables trainee teachers to work as classroom assistants, providing classes in their native languages.
Exemption from the NMW will mean that Erasmus students and Comenius assistants in work placements in the UK will not have to be paid the NMW. Employers and schools providing work placements are not required to pay a wage but may, if they wish, supplement the grant.
It is estimated that around 1,500 Erasmus students and 200 Comenius assistants will be covered by the exemptions each year.
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