Minimum-wage workers


In legal terms the definition of a minimum-wage worker is any employee who is paid an hourly rate which directly complies with the legal requirements of minimum wage.  This definition, however, may not encompass the cultural meaning associated with a minimum-wage worker.

Unskilled contractors

Commonly referred to as wage labourers, the general term usually refers to unskilled employees who are contracted for a specific period of time in which the employee works for the employer and the employer benefits from the work. This can be contrasted with independent contractors which usually are employed to fulfil a specific task or service.

An example of this difference can be seen in the agricultural industry.

A farmer may employ a minimum-wage worker to help with everyday farming during the busy season. He will not specify the exact tasks the employee must accomplish but will rather specify the time the employee should be available.

In contrast, the farmer might hire a spray plane pilot to spray a certain area. The employment contract with the pilot is likely to specify the area that needs to be completed (i.e. the task) rather than the hours the pilot will need to work. The pilot in this example may calculate the time it takes to complete the task in order to quote a reasonable price, but this calculation will not form part of the contract.

Why find out more?

If you are looking to hire a minimum-wage worker, or you are looking to gain employment as one, it is advisable that you research the legal benefits and responsibilities associated with this employment relationship. An understanding of the rules which one operates under can dramatically improve one’s bargaining position when negotiating an employment contract.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on the status of a minimum-wage worker, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local employment solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local employment solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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