National minimum wage ― overview

By Tolley

The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • National minimum wage ― overview
  • Eligibility
  • Minimum hourly rates
  • Apprentices
  • The accommodation offset
  • Checking pay against the minimum
  • Claiming the shortfall in pay
  • Records for NMW purposes

Statute provides that almost all adult workers should be paid at a minimum hourly rate ― either the National Living Wage (NLW) or the National Minimum Wage (NMW) (according to the age of the worker and whether he is an apprentice). Unless otherwise stated, all references to the NMW in this guidance note should be read as including the NLW.

National Minimum Wage Act 1998; SI 2015/621 (subscription sensitive)

Most workers who work in the UK are entitled to be paid the minimum wage. This is a very broad category of people and includes all those who personally provide work or services under a contract, except for those who are self-employed and in specified excepted groups including:

Office holders (unless the terms of their contract specifically make them workers)NMWA 1998, s 54(3)
Serving members of the armed forces, including reservistsNMWA 1998, s 37
Share fishermen who do not receive wagesNMWA 1998, s 43
Voluntary workers employed by a charity or voluntary organisation who do not receive expenses or benefits other than subsistence or accommodation. Do note that volunteers receiving other benefits or expenses, eg use of cars or

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