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Working pupil facts

In the equine industry the term 'working pupil' is typically associated with someone who works at a yard, lives on the premises and keeps their horse there and, in return for this, they get training.

There is no legal definition of a “working pupil” and this term is not a legal employment status. If you are a working pupil you are more than likely an employee.

Just like an employee, someone who is receiving training as part of their package should also receive a written statement of terms of employment (contract), NMW, paid holiday and then have deductions (such as accommodation and livery) made to their net salary, upon mutual agreement. 

Whilst an equestrian yard can advertise for a ‘working pupil’, it is OK to use it as a descriptive job title, it is not an employment status and does not exempt the employer from paying someone at least the National Minimum Wage.    

Lucy Katan, BGA Executive Director, explains further, "The words 'Working Pupil' immediately identify that the individual is a worker! Thus the individual must be employed as such and anything otherwise is illegal and could result in a £20,000 fine for an employer from the HMRC. The employers that are using this term are naive and must modernise their approach.

I believe that it can be a great opportunity for any young person to be based at a professional yard and get deciated riding coaching, this experience can be invaluable. However, it must be legal and it is actually very simple for an employer to make it so. I strongly urge parents to examine the terms of the position that is being offered and contact us for advice if they are unsure."

Some frequently asked questions include: 

WHAT IS A WORKING PUPIL?
IS IT A LEGAL EMPLOYMENT STATUS?
IT IS OK TO BE GIVEN FREE TRAINING IN RETURN FOR WORK?
I CAN GO HOME WHENEVER. I CHOOSE TO BE HERE?
ISN’T A WORKING PUPIL THE SAME AS AN INTERNSHIP?
A WORKING PUPIL IS ON 'WORK EXPERIENCE'?

To get the answers to all of these questions, visit MY JOB in the Members Zone. If you are not yet a member please join today to belong to your professional association and be a #smartgroom.

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