National Minimum Wage and family members

8 April 2013

My wife, our son and our daughter have set up a small business together. We are still in our first 18 months of trading, so we are not making a great profit. When we started we all agreed that we would not take wages for the first two years to ensure we kept the business viable.

My wife and I are still fine with this agreement, but my son and daughter are now saying they should be receiving at least the National Minimum Wage as workers and are threatening to make a claim.

I have reminded my son that he is a family member and, as he has the benefit of still living at home with us, asked him to bear with us for the moment until the business is more cost effective. I have also told my daughter that, as a family member with an interest in the business, she should also keep to the agreement, but she says her expenses are greater as she has to travel from the home she shares with her husband.

I have told both of them that, as family members, they are not entitled to NMW. Am I correct?