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National Minimum Wage Rise

On the 1st April 2024 the rates of all the National Minimum Wage (NMW) age bands increased.

There was also a significant change with the age eligibility threshold of the National Living Wage (NLW) being lowered to 21 years:

21 and over - £11.44
18-20 years - £8.60
Under 18 - £6.40
Apprentice rate - £6.40

This means the most significant increase in wages will be for those grooms moving up into the NLW category for the first time. For example, any 20-year-old groom turning 21 this year will have a huge rise in their salary; if working an average 50-hour week, they will have a £10,270 increase.

Paying the NMW is not a choice for employers – it is a legal obligation!

Perks such as lessons and livery are not substitutes for being paid at least the NMW.

The only deduction that can legally take your pay below the NMW is the accommodation offset. This is capped at £69.93 per week.

When employment is not legal grooms must take action and if necessary, report employers to the HMRC for non-compliance of the NMW. The awareness of the legal right to be paid NMW is the highest it’s ever been. Grooms are growing in confidence to take the necessary action and employers who underpay their staff face a fine of 200% of the arrears. The Minimum Wage is not a choice to pay, it is the law and non-compliance is a prosecutable offence. HMRC has already identified the equestrian sector as one of a high level of non-compliance.

The British Grooms Association urges all grooms to record the hours they work, making a note of any overtime and leave taken as this information is essential to make sure they are paid at least the NMW for every hour worked and to calculate any potential loss in wages.

All grooms take note, the message to learn is that you have earned the NMW, you are owed it, but have you been paid it?

Find out more about the NMW rises here.  

JOIN US for NMW support and much more...

The BGA is your organisation that represents and champions the career and welfare of all grooms.

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What the personal accident policy covers you for:

  • Whilst at work
  • All stable duties – mucking out, grooming, washing off, turning out
  • Clipping
  • Riding – including hacking and jumping
  • Hunting
  • Lunging
  • Breaking in
  • Holding horse for a vet and other procedures
  • Travelling horses both in the UK and abroad
  • Competing in line with your job including: jumping, dressage, eventing
  • Injuries that may happen to you whilst you are teaching - but you must also be grooming as part of your duties and not be a sole instructor

What the personal accident policy doesn’t cover you for:

  • Riding in a race, point to point or team chase
  • Stunt Riding
  • Accidents occurring whilst travelling to and from work
  • Riding and competing your own horse (but you can upgrade when applying for membership to include this)
  • Public Liability – this is a separate insurance policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance
  • Care Custody and Control – this is a separate policy - the Freelance Groom Liability Insurance

If you require additional cover then please contact KBIS directly.


When you are working for other people you do most of the following; muck out, turn out/catch in, tack up, groom horses, exercise Horses (including hacking, jumping and schooling), in the care of your employer/client.




Predominantly ride horses for other people including schooling, exercising and competing.   

 Provide grooming services for someone else either full time or on a freelance basis i.e. an employer or a client.   


Employ staff – have an employers liability policy in your name NO NO YES
Buy and sell horses NO YES YES