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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Status: Introduction

Most workers (NMWM05010) in the United Kingdom who are over compulsory school age (and those who ordinarily work in the United Kingdom) are entitled to be paid at least national minimum wage rates.

However, NMW Officers may come across occasions when employers are engaging staff but contending they are not workers and consequently are not complying with national minimum wage legislation. This could be for a variety of reasons, including;

  • The person is thought to be working in a self-employed capacity (NMWM05060)
  • The person is being treated as a volunteer (NMWM05080)
  • The person is described as an intern (NMWM05315)
  • The person is being treated as a non-employed trainee (NMWM05310).
  • The employer/person being unaware of their minimum wage responsibilities

If a person is found to be working under these circumstances it is necessary to investigate the nature of the contract (NMWM04030) between the employer and individual to determine the status and confirm the minimum wage position. Entitlement to the national minimum wage is determined by examining the working relationship between the employer and the person concerned and not by what the parties choose to call the relationship.