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The attitude of some people who have been brought up and continue to live in a bubble is astounding.

My view is...this is absolutely disgusting. I cannot say anything else.

how crooked , imagine putting that on a worldwide web to pay well under the minimum wage . that is illegal ,

also no man can operate as it costs £10 an hr to run i business , as we know most are charging £15-£25 , for tree surgery alot more due to the costs of running a £600 chainsaw plus license and insurances /kit .

a vehicle costs a fortune too with petrol or diesel

the worker would have to be on the dole or disabled.

it will cost them much more once the garden that is worth £1000's is totally ruined and will take years to be put right.

Hmm. It might depend how you choose to look at this. The National Minimum Wage rates, which are tiered, are as follows:

£5.93 - the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
£4.92 - the 18-20 rate
£3.64 - the 16-17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
£2.50 - the apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship

If I was a 16-year-old and someone was offering me £5 an hour, I might think it were a pretty good deal, for what on the face of it seems 10 hours of 'odd jobbing' (with flexible working hours). You don't need a license to operate a lawnmower, chainsaw or strimmer; as a 16-year-old I could borrow those from my dad.

But if I was a trained horticulturist with professional qualifications, then even the top rate of NMW would be pushing the boundaries of acceptability - but then would I be actively seeking this kind of odd jobbing work (as opposed to 'professional' gardening services) anyway?

I can't see that offering £5 would be 'illegal' provided that the person accepting the work fitted the age criteria - but that's not to say that these advertisers haven't done their homework and checked all this out.

So dare I suggest that before leaping to say it's 'crooked' and 'disgusting', it's worth stepping back and taking in the bigger picture.


I'm interested in two things here.

One, the perception that gardening expertise is available at low rates but the most serious aspect is the use of machinery by someone who is unlikely to be experienced.

I'm going to look in to this further (as the health and safety laws surrounding machinery use are not always clear) but the poster of this advertisement has a legal duty of care and whilst anyone can hire or buy, and use a machine without training or certification, doing so under the direction of an employer may be different.

The job has been re-posted today and now resides under a different URL

The job poster has quite sensibly removed reference to the job applicant being able to use a chainsaw.

I've spoke to the Health and Safety Executive and they tell me that the home owner does not have the same legal obligations toward the persons they employ as there are different rules governing domestic service.

I am expecting a call back from an inspector concerning the specifics of this case as there are too many greay areas.

I have had a look at the HSE website - in particular the document on chainsaws at work and the following section on the use of a chainsaw by youn people (under 18) is of interest here:

"Chainsaws and young people
Chainsaws should not be operated by anyone under minimum school leaving age (MSLA), which is on, or near the age of 16 years, depending on when the last day of the school year falls. Employers of young people (ie above MSLA but under 18 years old) will need to ensure:

they have the physical capacity to operate the chainsaw safely;

particular account is taken of their inexperience, immaturity and lack of awareness of relevant risks;

they are supervised by a person competent in the use of a chainsaw for the work being done by the trainee and who, where appropriate, holds the relevant competence certificate or award."

You can suggest whatever you like John - I still think these kind of wages being offered does nothing to elevate the horticultural industry. The advert calls for a 'gardener' - not an odd jobber.

Im with Gaynor on this, another thing that gets me is nearly everytime i do a job i get told that would have taken me twice or three times as long to do that. So my reply is i have the knowledge and equipment and i always carry out the job in question to the highest of standards in a professional way. So if they had contacted a gardener and got them to quote them for maintenence they may get someone to do what they require for what they are willing to pay. Whereas it would take themselves or a student/retired person the 10hours stated in the advert.

How much would the person offering the work be willing to work for themselves?

I saw this advert before I came on here and had a little chuckle to myself about it. Seriously, is anyone going to bust a gut working for that amount? All I can say is they're going to get what they pay for.

Must admit, I'm with John on this. It sounds to me as if they want someone just to do what they would do themselves in keeping the garden under, without any specialist knowledge. And maybe whoever lives there has difficulty doing that now.

I think the title of "expensive country house" is a bit sensational - it doesn't look like a mansion, assuming the picture is applicable to the ad - you don't know who lives there, you don't know their financial situation, or whether they're struggling to maintain a well loved home on non-existent interest rates.

As John says, it could be very useful job for someone just starting out, or a very useful income for someone on a state pension. The fact that they're advertising might mean that they've approached local professional gardeners and just can't afford them, but desperately need help. This might provide it for them.

I know it's annoying when work seems to be undervalued, but, unless I've missed something, we don't know anything about this situation. If no one's willing to work for this money, they won't find anyone.

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