Gah. What do you understand by the term 'Working Pupil'?

Auslander

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Are you expecting to get paid in pounds?

Am I just old fashioned in expecting the term to mean 'you work for me in return for tuition and experience and free/reduced livery rates for your horse'?

Please tell me.
I have never heard of a working pupil position without at least pocket money provided. I was a working pupil 25 years ago, and we got the above, plus a small wage!
 

HeresHoping

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Really? Oh.

How much pocket money? And thank you for answering.

I have been looking at hundreds of opportunities across the years and it seems so varied. An H&H article actually states "Working pupils fit in on the yard as grooms, but, traditionally, instead of working for a wage they receive training, livery for their horse and their keep". Admittedly, that's 2007.
 

Auslander

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Really? Oh.

How much pocket money? And thank you for answering.

I have been looking at hundreds of opportunities across the years and it seems so varied. An H&H article actually states "Working pupils fit in on the yard as grooms, but, traditionally, instead of working for a wage they receive training, livery for their horse and their keep". Admittedly, that's 2007.
Well - difficult to say nowadays, as I was a WP a very long time ago, but I got accomodation, food, livery, training towards BHS exams, exam fees paid and £40 a month spending money.
 

be positive

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The WP's that I have known have all received some pocket money including recently, the apprenticeship scheme is becoming more popular and that definitely includes a token "wage", I think it unrealistic nowadays to expect anyone to work for no money in their hand as there are far easier options such as college courses available, yes they may not get paid and it costs them money but on paper it is a far less demanding choice.
 

Fun Times

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Unless I was receiving tuition from someone like Carl Hester or Mark Todd I think i would expect some form of payment. That said, i think I should get paid for just sitting on my butt in front of a computer all day so who am I to judge!!
 

little_critter

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I'd assume you'd need some sort of pocket money. They may provide food but you'll need to buy other essentials such as toothpaste, shampoo, 'ladies essentials' etc.
 

equestriansports

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I think it depends on the person. If they're just a small yard then maybe a wage yes but it depends for me on the person. If I was a WP for say, Dom Schramm I wouldn't expect a wage. If I was working for someone competing low level affiliated type thing then yes. Simple because they probably don't have the extensive wealth of knowledge that someone out competing 3/4* will. If I had good accommodation, livery, chance to use transport to shows and training then I wouldn't expect a wage.
 

Merrymoles

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I am another who thinks "pocket money" has always been given. Working pupils get very smelly if they can't afford deodorant and quite moody if they can't afford a night out once in a blue moon or the bus fare into town...
 

Jango

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I think you need to include some spending money, I did a three month working student position and we got $50 a week and had to buy our own food which I thought was fine. It covered food, toiletries and the odd bottle of wine :) We could also bump up our earnings riding and plaiting up for liveries. If you don't pay anything you will only attract rich kids whose parents are subsidising them.
 

Goldenstar

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Many years ago I was a working pupil .
I got no money I had a room in a shared cottage where we had to pay the electricity bill but got wood and coal ( no heating ) .
I got at least one lesson a day very often two .
I got a lot of formal training session on stable management and how to teach .
I worked from first thing in the morning until last thing at night and got one day off a week .
I had my horse there for which my father paid and I got one day a week to go hunting but I worked before I went and when I got back until everything was done.
I don't think you could do that now.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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When I was a WP, we got accom & all board plus pocket money, as well as all exams paid for.
2 x lessons a week from the BHSI, plus a SM session with the II
1 day off a week (usually Monday) and accrued 1 extra day a month too.
Those who lived miles away were allowed to save up to 3 days to add to their 1 off, to make a proper break home.

When newly qualified, if living in & all meals, you got a small wage plus paid holiday time off too :)
We did get a wage slip showing gross pay with tax & NI, then deductions for accom & keep - probably one of the 1st ones in equine world in the UK to do that, in 1980/81
 

3OldPonies

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Are you still allowed to swap things like a roof over your head in exchange for work? Correct me if I'm wrong, but surely you should get the minimum wage, with anything else a benefit on top? Or are horsey employers so behind the times that they don't do this? (I'm perfectly aware that not all are above board and provide a good wage, paid hols or event sort out PAYE)
 

Caol Ila

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In my experience, it comes down to individual barns and trainers. There's no correlation between how well-known or accomplished the trainer is, and what you get as a working student.

I spent a summer as a working student in the States. The trainer was fairly well known locally, and he did all right, but we weren't talking big time. Nor did he have anything going at FEI levels, so he was hardly Steffan Peters or even on Steffan's planet. I got free board for my horse, free lessons, and free accommodation. I did not get a wage on top of that, so I was still relying on parents to send money so I could buy things like food. Such luxuries!

Another place I looked at offered all of the above, plus a stipend. Unfortunately their yard had no room at the inn for my horse, so I didn't go there. He was also a fairly high up trainer in USDF circles, had coached the US Dressage team and rode to Grand Prix himself, so would have been a way better placement. Hence the yard being full up.

I reflected on the irony that a Big Name Trainer gave working students a wage alongside the free accomodation and free horse board, whereas the No Name Trainer did no such thing.
 

JennBags

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We did get a wage slip showing gross pay with tax & NI, then deductions for accom & keep - probably one of the 1st ones in equine world in the UK to do that, in 1980/81
^^^^In order to keep HMRC happy, this is absolutely the way it should be done. I am often surprised that they don't crack down on livery yards etc where the yard owner will "pay" liveries by reducing their livery charge; and the working pupil is also a prime example of tax avoidance, as their wages will usually only show what they are paid and not the benefits in terms of accommodation, lessons etc.

Are you still allowed to swap things like a roof over your head in exchange for work? Correct me if I'm wrong, but surely you should get the minimum wage, with anything else a benefit on top? Or are horsey employers so behind the times that they don't do this? (I'm perfectly aware that not all are above board and provide a good wage, paid hols or event sort out PAYE)
You are right, but the horse world doesn't often conform in my experience!
 

rowan666

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i think it is unrealistic in this day and age to expect someone to work full time for free, weather accomodation is provided or not, it is essentially an aprenticeship which provide training and a wage albeit less than minimum wage, i would think if you didnt do things strictly by the book then you are opening yourself up to all kinds of potential legal and insurance issues especially if pupil becomes discruntled and reports you
 

case895

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Are you expecting to get paid in pounds?

Am I just old fashioned in expecting the term to mean 'you work for me in return for tuition and experience and free/reduced livery rates for your horse'?

Please tell me.
Negative money. They pay you, then charge you for livery, accommodation, diesel, show entries, window tax, walking on the cracks in the pavement, etc.

I have known WPs leave after a year owing the boss money.
 

ElleSkywalker

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I have been a WP in the UK and USA. I got board, lessons, exams and keep for my horse + a bit of money, £120 per month rings a bell (in 1998) and $500 a month in the US with free board, lessons and exams (in 2000) so yes I think a pocket money wage is needed :)
 

zaminda

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I don't think working pupils are actually allowed any more. They are now apprentices, and as such need to receive the minimum apprentice wage. There is a maximum as to what you can charge someone for accommodation. There doesn't seem to be any guidelines as to what you can charge for livery, or how much training you have to provide. A friends daughter has recently left a job as a working pupil, she was lucky if she got a lesson a fortnight, and worked well over a 60 hour week.
 

honetpot

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I was a working pupils in the 70's after leaving school, I was extremely well looked after, had a lovely cottage to live in with free food and bills and a small amount of pocket money and worked a 6 day week.
I would not expect in 2015 to live like this and most young people would not want this,when they can work at Tescos for adult minimum wage. The idea is that all employers have to follow the rules, provide a written contract, holiday pay, time off, pay the minimum wage or provide an apprenticeship, which is £3.30phr https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-national-minimum-wage-rates-announced
 

charlie76

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You can't have working pupils anymore , they are apprentices. I pay mine NWM. She also has lessons and rides daily as well as on the job training. I pay for her BHS exams and any courses she wants to go on. She is also doing a national diploma in horse care.
She doesn't keep her horse with me but I let her bring her for a week at a time now and then for boot camp free of charge.
 

HeresHoping

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Thank you for your responses.

There is a deal of assumption that the yard in question already employs other staff. I am not sure how tax avoidance is an issue when no one is avoiding an income?

What if the person offering a working pupil position was not currently an employer? I.e. they are a sole trader but seeking additional assistance over a period of 6 - 8 weeks? That falls under the 1 year minimum for apprenticeships.
Hypothetically, what if they were offering this working pupil status in return for mucking out 4 horses, turning out and bringing in 6 days per week, and the quid pro quo was ffering free livery and 3 lessons per week plus competition travel if required? Which would amount to fees in kind of £180/week. And it's not some lower level rider, either.

And, if employers all have to follow the rules (I am aware of these, I work for a law firm), how are universities and colleges requiring 'work experience' hours going to get their students into roles?

Thank you again, though. I'm talking to our employment department about apprenticeships.
 

SusieT

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That doesn't sound very attractive as its very short term so they won't save on existing livery costs most likely and how is the person supposed to pay for anything like their horses vets fees while being tied to a yard 6 days a week so thus probably not able to get a second job?
Sounds like you want free help really, and I'm afraid in this day and age people don't want that - what are you offering to those who don't have a horse?
 
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I was a WP 3/4 years ago so recent-ish. I had accommodation but it wasn't brilliant, we had 100 pounds a week for basic food for about 6 of us. So that bought cereal, pasta etc but anything extra/fancy we bought ourselves. Horses on 'livery' but they were out most of the time so it didn't cost them anything. A bit of feed. We had a lesson everyday on our own horses but it varied in quality, it was mostly schooling under loose supervision instead of a proper lesson. If you rode well you could ride again later in the day usually one of the youngsters. One day off a week. No pocket money. We didn't get any formal stable management training really which was the only thing I was really disappointed about, you sort of learnt from the other girls as you went along and picked up various things but I had wanted formal/structured training.
There were some grumblings amongst the girls that it was illegal/not above board etc and I guess it wasn't. We had fun though!! Although because of the financial position you are in I couldn't stay for very long. If you have NO money coming in things like shoeing your horse get difficult!! As above poster said, the vet too! I would have had to ask parent if I had had a big vet bill. One girl did somehow manage to have a pub job in the evenings but she was exhausted and looked unwell.
 

NaeNae87

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In Aus, we have a minimum wage applicable for the Horse and Greyhound Industry. The minimum allowed per week for a full time, adult stable employee is $656.90/w and $17.29/h.

More experienced stablehands should get minimum $657.90/w and $701.80/w and $17.79/h and $18.47/h... They are supposed to get higher pay rates on Sundays and public holidays as well as overtime.

If I was going to be a working pupil, I would be wanting a fair wage to be paid to me and then things like accommodation, board, food, bills etc to be paid by me from my pay packet. It's unrealistic to expect people to work for no money at all.

If I am pulling a 60 hour week and board costs say $150, accommodation and food is aprox $350-450 plus a lesson or two $200... all up it's roughly $800. Based on our min wage ($17.29/h) I should be earning $1037.4 for a 60hr week (If I included over time as a work week is 38 hours it would be $1296.85). That would mean I was getting ripped off over $200 (or $496.85 with overtime included)! That's a lot of money unaccounted for, especially if you are busting your butt with no time to get a second job and still need to have the farrier out, pay comp entries, fuel, insurance etc.
 

little_critter

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Thank you for your responses.

There is a deal of assumption that the yard in question already employs other staff. I am not sure how tax avoidance is an issue when no one is avoiding an income?
.
I would assume the tax avoidance comments relate to the fact that (I believe) to do this properly you need to generate a payslip declaring gross pay, do NI and PAYE deductions on this gross pay then deduct the cost of livery/ accommodation / lessons etc. the WP may end up with nothing but the HMRC have had what's due to them.
Though your point about university students and work experience is an interesting one.
 

be positive

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I would assume the tax avoidance comments relate to the fact that (I believe) to do this properly you need to generate a payslip declaring gross pay, do NI and PAYE deductions on this gross pay then deduct the cost of livery/ accommodation / lessons etc. the WP may end up with nothing but the HMRC have had what's due to them.
Though your point about university students and work experience is an interesting one.
The difference with uni students is probably because they are "employed" by the uni and any work experience is supposed to be for gaining experience of a working environment rather than being trained on the job, work experience done before going to uni will be unpaid but for most people it will not be full on work, vet students are shadowing but rarely get hands on practical work.

I think to find someone to do a very short 6-8 weeks cover on an unpaid pupil basis is expecting a lot unless it is with a top end rider/ trainer, the OP's rider may be good but with only 4 horses sounds more amateur than pro yard, the pupil may potentially still gain a lot from the lessons but it is mid season, not the best time to up sticks and move to a new set up.
I think they need to be realistic and work out how little they really require to be done each day and get in a decent freelance groom to ensure everything runs smoothly while they are out of action, or whatever the reason is, it will cost but if the person employed is experienced they should be able to get on with minimal supervision and do it in half the time a pupil may take, if they are self employed there will be no need to do any more than hand over the money each week on production of an invoice.
 

abbijay

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Effectively what is being offered is an internship which does not require payment in the eyes of the law. Look at what the media industry expects in London from their fully qualified interns to get a foot on the ladder.
I think the big thing is that potentially some better candidates for the role will be put off if there is little or no money attached to it.
 
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