National minimum wage
National minimum wage

The following Employment guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • National minimum wage
  • Eligibility
  • The minimum hourly rate
  • Agricultural workers
  • Apprentices
  • Calculating the hourly rate
  • Checking pay against the minimum
  • Relevance of the provision of living accommodation
  • Hours worked for national minimum wage purposes
  • Salaried hours work
  • Time work
  • Output work
  • Unmeasured work
  • Record keeping and access to records
  • Consequences of failure to pay
  • Enforcement by HMRC
  • Offences
  • LME undertakings and orders
  • Automatic unfair dismissal and protection from detriment
  • Contracting out

Statute guarantees a minimum hourly rate of pay to almost all adult workers.


Most 'workers' who work in the UK are entitled to be paid the minimum wage. A person qualifies for the national minimum wage if he:

  1. is a worker (see Practice Note: Worker status—Definition of 'worker')

  2. who works, or ordinarily works, in the UK under his contract, and

  3. has ceased to be of compulsory school age (see Practice Note: Employing children and young persons—Employment of children)

The National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (NMWA 1998) specifically includes:

  1. agency workers who would not otherwise fall within the definition of worker because of the absence of a worker's contract between the individual and the agent or the principal, and

  2. home workers who would not otherwise fall within the definition of worker, by removing the requirement that the work be performed 'personally' and defining home worker 'as an individual who contracts with a person, for the purposes of that person's business, for the execution of work to be done in a place not under the control or management of that person'

  3. those in Crown employment

  4. members of the staff of the House of Lords or House of Commons

  5. those employed to work on board a ship registered in the UK under Part II of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, unless the employment is wholly

Related documents: