Policy paper

National minimum wage law: enforcement

Sets out how the scheme to name employers who break national minimum wage (NMW) law works.


Interim enforcement of the National Minimum Wage in the social care sector: “sleep-in” shifts (November 2017)

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This document sets out:

  • how the revised scheme to name employers who break national minimum wage (NMW) law (which came into effect on 1 October 2013) operates
  • the changes made to the NMW financial penalty (which came into effect on 1 April 2016)
  • how the government operates the civil and criminal enforcement regime of the NMW

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is responsible for NMW policy, which HM Revenue and Customs enforces.

November 2017: The document was revised; the revisions comprise:

  • an amended section 3.9 confirming NMW enforcement on behalf of seafarers
  • a new section 3.10 outlining a new interim approach to enforcement of sleeping time arrears in the social care sector
  • a revised section 4 setting out strengthened criteria for HMRC’s enforcement by means of criminal prosecutions.
Published 1 October 2013
Last updated 1 November 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updates to the National Minimum Wage enforcement guidance.
  2. Suspension of minimum wage enforcement in the social care sector extended for 1 month.
  3. Updated section 3.7 specifying additional circumstances, concerning sleeping time, in which a notice of underpayment will not impose a penalty.
  4. Updated to reflect the new process through which HMRC will handle complaints and the introduction of the new Director of Labour Market Enforcement regime.
  5. Changes made to reflect the introduction of the National Living Wage and the penalties increase coming into force on 1 April.
  6. Additional footnote 7 on page 20: BIS will not name employers that break national minimum wage law if the amount in arrears is £100 or less.
  7. Changes made to the national minimum wage financial penalty.
  8. First published.
  9. Revised scheme to name employers who break national minimum wage (NMW) law.