Upcoming increases to the National Minimum Wage (NMW), means equestrian businesses must adapt to remain compliant and viable, warns the Equestrian Employers Association (EEA). On Monday (1 April), the rates for all age bands will rise and the age eligibility threshold of the NLW will be lowered to 21 year olds.

The new rates are as follows:

  • 21 and over £11.44
  • 18-20 years £8.60
  • Under 18 £6.40
  • Apprentice rate £6.40

“We must update the way the industry operates,” an EEA spokesman said. “We’ve got to streamline the daily running of the yard, including the staffing resource. Could just one groom perform the morning feeding duties, with the rest arriving later? This small change could save an employer a significant amount of their annual wage bill.”

They stressed that grooms are growing in confidence to report employers for non-compliance and employers who underpay their staff face a fine of 200% of the arrears.

“The awareness of the legal right to be paid NMW is the highest it’s ever been,” they added. “The Minimum Wage is not a choice to pay, it is the law and non-compliance is a prosecutable offence. HMRC has already identified the equestrian sector as one of a high level of non-compliance.”

Find out more about the NMW rises and helpful advice via the EEA website.

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