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7:35pm on Sunday, 24th October, 2010:
We've had a minimum wage in the UK since 1999. There are groups of people it doesn't apply to, but according to the government web site it all kicks in if they satisfy the definition of "a worker". Key elements include:
This is what did for the volunteer programme for virtual worlds, in which players used to take on the rôle of customer service reps. They were called volunteers, but they were given jobs and shifts, and were "paid" by being given a free account. AOL was sued over it in the USA, MMORPGs rapidly dropped their own volunteer programmes, and that's where we are today.
Children who are at or below compulsory school age (16) are exempt from the national minimum wage. If you stay on, though, you can still be at school (aged 17 or 18) but the minimum wage applies.
All this is just so I can point out that any school with a sixth form that has prefects really ought to be paying them the minimum wage for their "volunteer" work. Well, either that or they shouldn't get a badge (their "payment in kind")...
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