Commentary

(c) Treatment of accommodation

Division BI Pay
| Commentary

(c) Treatment of accommodation

| Commentary

(c)     Treatment of accommodation

The one exception to the rule against the inclusion of 'benefits in kind' is accommodation provided to a worker by his or her employer. It is therefore the only benefit in kind provided by an employer which is given a value, known as the 'accommodation offset', which is then taken into account when calculating whether the national minimum wage has been paid. The idea is to prevent the employer evading payment of the national minimum wage by charging sky-high rents. However, the circumstances in which this benefit can be taken into account and the amount that may be attributable to it are strictly controlled and it is certainly not the case, as is sometimes asserted, that providing free accommodation exempts an employer from paying the national minimum wage.

Commissioners for HMRC v Ant Marketing Ltd [2020] IRLR 744, EAT, was an appeal concerning the arm's length provision of accommodation which at first sight appeared to involve a radical departure from official guidance. In fact, the informed view is that the appeal outcome depended on an overly-narrow point of interpretation. If the matter arises again expect a more expansive review of the statutory provisions and their purpose.

The employer made deductions from the wages of certain workers, but with the complication that the accommodation in question was provided by a separate company which was wholly owned by the employer's chief officer. When NMW enforcement notices were issued by HMRC, involving considerable amounts – three such NOUs were

To continue reading
Analyse the law and clarify obscure passages all within a practical context.