Living wages are paid

Case study - Minimum wages

“I often use a local man to help construct my polytunnels. Do I have to make sure the people he used are paid at least the NMW?”

This very much depends on who the employer is.

If you simply give a contractor a lump sum for erecting your polytunnels and you have no further involvement in the work, then you do not have any legal obligations to check the wages of the workers. This is a bit like paying a decorator to paint your house – you contract a company to do your work for you. However, when agreeing the quote, consider if this is of a sufficient price to pay the workers at least NMW for the time it takes them to erect the tunnels.

If you provide instruction to workers, monitor their work and working hours and give them PPE, then you could be seen as the employer of these workers and hence you would have a responsibility to ensure these workers are paid correctly, as well as all of the other responsibilities that you would have as the employer.

Another option would be that the workers are brought on site, and are providing a service to you through an agency. In this case you should ensure that you are paying the local man hourly rates for these workers that allows them to be paid the minimum wage for all hours worked (see Chapter 10), as well as checking that if the local man requires one, he has a valid GLA licence.