Queen chided over castle pay packets

Queen Elizabeth. Photo Reuters
Queen Elizabeth. Photo Reuters
Working as a cleaner for the Queen seems to be about prestige rather than pay, and a backlash over a recent job ad has prompted the monarch to review salary levels.

The official British Monarchy website called for applications for a part-time cleaner at Windsor Castle, offering the successful maid STG6.67 ($NZ13) per hour, British tabloid the Daily Mirror reported.

The hourly rate is STG0.47 above Britain's minimum wage but STG0.78 below the government's recommended "living wage".

It means the cleaner - who would perform tasks including vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and changing bed linen - working from 8am to 1pm Monday to Saturday, would earn a full-time equivalent salary of STG13,000 ($NZ25,200) a year.

"This looks really bad. Since the Queen receives considerable support from the public purse she should pay a living wage, not just barely a minimum wage," Labour MP Grahame Morris told the newspaper.

"She's setting a bad example to other employers."

In June Windsor Castle advertised for a servant to work 40 hours a week for STG14,000 a year.

A royal spokesman told the Daily Mirror: "We are reviewing our policies regarding the living wage".

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