Policy paper

National minimum wage law: enforcement

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



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.

Published 1 October 2013
Last updated 15 June 2022 + show all updates
  1. Sections updated: Seafarers, Sleep-ins, Naming scheme, Ministerial direction annex confirming regular reviews.

  2. Guidance updated to reflect new legislation that came in on 1 October 2020 affecting seafarers and the national minimum wage.

  3. We're resuming the naming scheme. The threshold for naming employers who fail to pay minimum wage has increased from £100 to £500. We've updated section 5 to reflect the changes to the scheme.

  4. Updates to the National Minimum Wage enforcement guidance.

  5. Suspension of minimum wage enforcement in the social care sector extended for 1 month.

  6. Updated section 3.7 specifying additional circumstances, concerning sleeping time, in which a notice of underpayment will not impose a penalty.

  7. Updated to reflect the new process through which HMRC will handle complaints and the introduction of the new Director of Labour Market Enforcement regime.

  8. Changes made to reflect the introduction of the National Living Wage and the penalties increase coming into force on 1 April.

  9. 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.

  10. Changes made to the national minimum wage financial penalty.

  11. First published.

  12. Revised scheme to name employers who break national minimum wage (NMW) law.