An advert for a live-in housekeeper at Buckingham Palace is offering just £7.97 an hour – £1.53 less than the national minimum wage for people over 22.
The advert offers a salary of £19,900, with the “option to live-in (for which there is a salary adjustment) with meals provided.”
The actual salary adjustment – since removed from the advert – knocks the wages down to £7.97, which even for applicants aged 22 or 21, is £1.91 below the minimum wage.
It’s not illegal to do this – bosses who employ live-in staff are allowed to deduct money from wages to account for the costs of accommodation, currently set at a maximum of £8.70 per day or £60.90 per week. And the job also comes with a generous 15 per cent employer contribution pension scheme, plus benefits.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The hourly rate in the advert was published in error. The full remuneration package for this role includes the offer of accommodation and meals, which makes the offer very competitive for similar roles in London.”
But leading union Unite Hospitality has labelled the basic wage being offered by “one of the richest landowners in the country” as “obscene”.