EEA warns over impact as NMW set to increase by 6.2%

The National Living Wage is due to rise by 6.2% on April 1st 2020. The rise is more than four times the rate of inflation and takes hourly pay for workers over 25 to £8.72.

With the HMRC certainly targeting the equestrian industry, and hefty fines being issued, the Equestrian Employers Association (EEA) is warning all those that employ staff to look at their business models, and address how to make them viable.

Responding to the announcement Tullis Matson, President of the Equestrian Employers Association said,

“It is absolutely right that everyone is paid fairly. However, in some cases, equestrian businesses are already struggling and this rise will be a challenge for them. It’s vital that increases in the National Living Wage are manageable and do not put jobs at risk.

This Government has promised a reduction in the jobs tax through an increase in the employment allowance. With a National Living Wage increase of this size now on the horizon, it’s critical that it delivers swiftly.

As a small employer, equestrian businesses must consider a rise in their prices in response to an NLW increase of this magnitude. There needs to be an industry-wide increase, the employer cannot be tasked with this on their own.”

The EEA is concerned about the impact on many equestrian business, remembering that it’s not a choice to pay the National Minimum Wage, it’s the law. For a groom, working a 50 hour week, this will see an annual pay rise of £1,326.

From 1st April 2020 the National Living Wage (for over 25 year olds) will increase 6.2% from £8.21 to £8.72.

The National Minimum Wage will rise across all age groups, including:

– 6.5% increase from £7.70 to £8.20 for 21-24 year olds

– 4.9% increase from £6.15 to £6.45 for 18-20 year olds

– 4.6% increase from £4.35 to £4.55 for Under 18s

– 6.4% increase from £3.90 to £4.15 for Apprentices

The Government has pledged that within two years the NMW will be to £10 per hour. Is this in fact sustainable for an equestrian business?

It is a question that will be debated at length at the upcoming Equestrian Employers Conference on February 25th. The programme incorporates the big question of how to keep on the right side of the law whilst running an equestrian business.

Employers of all types of yards are given the opportunity to discuss these challenges and future-proofing your business, in a forum where all understand the uniqueness of the equestrian set. For more information go to