Trinity May Ball performs U-turn on workers’ pay

Clear up and set up workers will now receive minimum wage

Workers at this year's Trinity May Ball will now receive minimum wage in return for their services, following an expose by The Tab last year.

In a statement released to Varsity, the committee announced that all workers would receive minimum wage pay at the going rate for their age group. Previously clear up and set up workers received no monetary remuneration, instead being given the 'right to buy' a pair of tickets at full price to the next years ball. The legality of this practice was questioned by labour law expert Zoe Adams, who noted that the workers could not be considered voluntary due to receiving a 'benefit in kind' in the form of right to buy. Further details can be found on gov.uk.

Clear up shifts for the 2017 ball lasted 10 hours, which according to minimum wage regulation was worth £56 for workers age 18-21. Workers contracts included a number of other punitive clauses, including the need to provide £150 worth of 'insurance deposit cheques' to the committee, which are cashed in the case of contract breaches. These could be as minor as withdrawal within 21 days of the Ball's date, consumption of food and drink provided for guests or failure to provide a medical certificate in instance of absence due to sickness. It is unclear whether these clauses remain.

The radical change in policy occurred just a week after The Tab discovered the remuneration terms were unchanged from last year. Whether the policy change is due to the legality issues exposed by The Tab remains unclear. If the contracts were deemed illegal, workers at previous editions of the ball could be owed monetary compensation.

It represents good news for workers, who will retain an improved chance of purchasing a ticket for next years ball in the External Ballot. The committee's co-president Neil Cunningham said “around 15 per cent of all tickets in the External Ballot will be allocated to workers”

The Tab has contacted the May Ball committee for comment.

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