Additional changes to national minimum wage regulationsSaturday, October 1st, 2011
Two sets of national minimum wage regulations introduce, in addition to the 1 October increases, other measures relating to training schemes and student accommodation.
The October increases to the national minimum wage (NMW) rates have been given effect by means of the National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2011. These amendment regulations and a further set of amendment regulations also make a number of adjustments to the rules governing certain training schemes and student accommodation.
- The definition of “government arrangements” is expanded to include, in England and Wales, arrangements made under the Jobseekers Act 1995. Workers who are participating in specified government arrangements do not qualify for the NMW.
- In Wales, the scheme known as “Traineeships or Steps to Employment” is added to the list of “government arrangements”. Unlike all of the other changes, this is effective from 1 August 2011.
- Higher Education and Further Education Institutions are exempted from the NMW accommodation offset rules where they provide accommodation to a worker who is enrolled on a full-time course with that institution. This change follows a 12-week consultation between January and April 2011. Many colleges and universities provide student accommodation and, quite separately, employ the students in part-time jobs, e.g. as student mentors. In principle, such students are covered by the accommodation offset rules, with the consequence that the institution incurs increased costs to meet the NMW rate. The situation is similar to the provision of social housing by local authorities or housing associations to persons who, unconnected with the housing provision, are also employees of the authority or association. The regulations define the specific courses in England,Wales,ScotlandandNorthern Ireland that qualify for this exemption.