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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Entitlement to National Minimum Wage: Legal entitlement

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • National Minimum Wage Act 1998, sections 1(1) & 2


Most workers in the United Kingdom who are over compulsory school leaving age (and those who ordinarily work in the United Kingdom) are entitled to be paid at least national minimum wage rates. This is set out in the National Minimum Wage Act 1998, section 1 as:

1.- (1) A person who qualifies for the national minimum wage shall be remunerated by his employer in respect of his work in any pay reference period at a rate which is not less than the national minimum wage.

(2) A person qualifies for the national minimum wage if he is an individual who-

  1. is a worker (NMWM05020);
  2. is working, or ordinarily works, in the United Kingdom under his contract; (NMWM05030) and
  3. has ceased to be of compulsory school age (NMWM03070).