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Working for less than minimum wage

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    I'm in a position where I badly need a job to supplement my student loan. Would it be worth saying to prospective employers that I'd be willing to work for less than minimum wage? Even just five hours at £2/wk would more than double my weekly food/toiletries/clothes/beer budget and it would make sense to an employer as it would cost them less money to employ me, and I'd be okay with it. I know that the minimum wage is there to make sure people get a proper wage, but as I understand it it is an entitlement, which to me means that if the recipient does not require the it, it is not an obligatory thing for them to have (such as entitlement to paternity pay etc.).
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    I doubt that would work for most employers. They're not going to want to get caught employing someone on less than minimum wage, regardless of whether the employee happily accepted that.
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    Employers HAVE to pay minimum wage, if things were handled the way you suggest the job market becomes an auction to the lowest bidder.
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    Actually the minimum wage is there to make sure people like you who are desperate for work don't get taken advantage of. It's not an entitlement, it's a legal requirement - otherwise every unskilled job would be filled by someone willing to work for as much as they're offered just to have a job. Just make sure your CV is the best it can be and hand it out everywhere you can think of.

    There's also the option of utilizing your overdraft - I was in the exact same position as you throughout uni, managed to get a job in the January of my first year and have worked constantly since then. If you want to put yourself above other students applying for the same position, make sure you state that you're willing to work nights, especially Friday and Saturday nights!
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    Just say your an illegal immigrant, put on a polish accent and you will get one....well it works in the local corner store :lol:

    Or do one of those fancy things called "apprenticeship" :rofl:
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    (Original post by fairysdad)
    I'm in a position where I badly need a job to supplement my student loan. Would it be worth saying to prospective employers that I'd be willing to work for less than minimum wage? Even just five hours at £2/wk would more than double my weekly food/toiletries/clothes/beer budget and it would make sense to an employer as it would cost them less money to employ me, and I'd be okay with it. I know that the minimum wage is there to make sure people get a proper wage, but as I understand it it is an entitlement, which to me means that if the recipient does not require the it, it is not an obligatory thing for them to have (such as entitlement to paternity pay etc.).
    It doesn't work like that, I'm afraid. You could always emigrate to get a low paid job?
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    i'm sorry to say but i don't think it would work
    it is risky too and any employer who pays £2 an hour i..e below the minimum wage is someone you should be wary off, the likelihood is that the work will be extremely tough, in bad conditions, they will be a bad boss, it is illegal, etc
    plus if you get injured/health problems, need to take time off, you won't be covered by any laws because the deal between you and the employer is illegal

    i'm sorry to say this but i wouldn't do it, if i were you
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    There are people out there that'll take advantage of people and will take the risk of paying below minimum wage. (I know this for a fact and could name businesses and self employed people doing so)

    Depends on the employer, but its not all its cracked up to be. If youve got a choice go for a decent employer obviously.
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    (Original post by getinthevan)
    Actually the minimum wage is there to make sure people like you who are desperate for work don't get taken advantage of. It's not an entitlement, it's a legal requirement - otherwise every unskilled job would be filled by someone willing to work for as much as they're offered just to have a job. Just make sure your CV is the best it can be and hand it out everywhere you can think of.

    There's also the option of utilizing your overdraft - I was in the exact same position as you throughout uni, managed to get a job in the January of my first year and have worked constantly since then. If you want to put yourself above other students applying for the same position, make sure you state that you're willing to work nights, especially Friday and Saturday nights!
    Unfortunately due to my circumstances before I started university my overdraft isn't an option - I was already up to my £750 max overdraft by the time I started. I've been searching for jobs since November, and still am although at this point there seems little point as I'd only be there for a couple of months before going back home.

    (Original post by Rascacielos)
    I doubt that would work for most employers. They're not going to want to get caught employing someone on less than minimum wage, regardless of whether the employee happily accepted that.
    Surely though if the employee is happily accepting it, the employer wouldn't get caught out?
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    If you're being paid minimum wage, threaten them with legal action. If they think your bluffing, sue them.
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    (Original post by fairysdad)
    Surely though if the employee is happily accepting it, the employer wouldn't get caught out?
    Why would any employer risk it? There are so many people looking for work.. I don't see why any employer would break the law like that just for a few quid less, it's not going to make a massive difference even for a smaller business..
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    minimum wage is insultingly low already, why work for even less?
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    It's illegal unless it's an apprenticeship, and even those have a minimum wage of £2.60 and are also as hard to get as normal jobs.

    Wouldn't it be a better compromise be to work a minimum wage job with fewer hours? I see lots of jobs advertised that are only 4 hours a week.

    I know how hard it is to get a job though, but just keep trying. Or failing that, maybe you could just start some sort of business and make money yourself?
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    (Original post by Pop_tart)
    Why would any employer risk it? There are so many people looking for work.. I don't see why any employer would break the law like that just for a few quid less, it's not going to make a massive difference even for a smaller business..
    As you'll probably know, smaller businesses take things down to ridiculously fine details and margins. Its not just a few quid, it can amount to quite a nice sum.

    Its not just the money, the employers are then in a position to **** the staff about with their hours, environment, holidays, duties because the staff have little to protect them. Other than the fact you could sue them or leave the job........ and lets be honest,..... who knows where to start with suing because I don't.
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    (Original post by CherryCherryBoomBoom)
    It's illegal unless it's an apprenticeship, and even those have a minimum wage of £2.60 and are also as hard to get as normal jobs.

    Wouldn't it be a better compromise be to work a minimum wage job with fewer hours? I see lots of jobs advertised that are only 4 hours a week.

    I know how hard it is to get a job though, but just keep trying. Or failing that, maybe you could just start some sort of business and make money yourself?
    It's not necessarily the amount of money I'd get, it's actually *having* money that is what I want, so only having a short hour job isn't really the point (ignoring the 'illegalities' of it, if you could pay whatever you wanted, and somebody could work 8 hours for the same price that somebody could work 4, who would you go for?)

    Anyways, it was just a random thought I'd have thought it would be possible, but evidently not and it seems like not a good idea either. Ah well.

    (Another thought though just come to me - if a person offered to work for less, and although the employer wouldn't be able to, would it make the potential employee more favourable to the employer?)
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    (Original post by fairysdad)
    It's not necessarily the amount of money I'd get, it's actually *having* money that is what I want, so only having a short hour job isn't really the point (ignoring the 'illegalities' of it, if you could pay whatever you wanted, and somebody could work 8 hours for the same price that somebody could work 4, who would you go for?)

    Anyways, it was just a random thought I'd have thought it would be possible, but evidently not and it seems like not a good idea either. Ah well.

    (Another thought though just come to me - if a person offered to work for less, and although the employer wouldn't be able to, would it make the potential employee more favourable to the employer?)
    Inciting your employer to break the law would not make you more favourable, it would make you a liability. If you want bargaining power, then you could always point out, if you are under 21, that you are eligible for the lower minimum wage (£4.98ph).
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    Can I ask something?
    I started "voluntary" work for experience, I never said it was voluntary but I only cared about getting as much experience as possible, so I didn't mind working for free. After my second week they paid me £10 for 4 hours of work each Saturday, I've been working there for 5-6 months now and I still get £10. I'm 18 and I know that this is far bellow minimum wage, but because it started off as volunteer work I'm not sure if I should be getting minimum wage. I'm happy with my £10 but I'm saving for University and I'm not living with my parents so I just wanted to know if I should be getting more, for what I work. I'm not going to ask for minimum wage, even if I'm entitled to it, I'm just curious if I should get it, or not.
    Thank you for reading.
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    (Original post by fairysdad)

    Surely though if the employee is happily accepting it, the employer wouldn't get caught out?
    If a person happily accepts being killed, that doesn't stop it from being murder. Not the best analogy but the principle still applies. Consent isn't a defence to everything (in fact it's a defence to very little).
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    The thing about the minimum wage is it's not just to protect you, it's to ensure that people like you, willing to work for a lot less, don't undercut people who will need more than the amount you're willing to work for in order to survive. Who's the employer going to take? The student who's willing to work all weekend for £20 or the single mum who wants to work at the weekends while the dad has the kids in order to feed them and put a roof over their heads and therefore needs to be earning a fair bit more than £20?
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    I've worked for less than minimum wage right up until last summer, either collect my pittance or they give the job to someone underage (I'm over 18)

    So I'm in no position to criticise

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Updated: April 12, 2012
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