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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Entitlement to National Minimum Wage: Contract excludes or restricts payment of national minimum wage

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • National Minimum Wage Act 1998, section 49


There may be instances where an employer may attempt to exclude or limit the payment of national minimum wage by attempting to come to an agreement with a worker. Section 49 states that any such agreement (even if it is in the worker’s contract) is void for national minimum wage purposes.

In addition, those agreements do not stop cases being taken before an employment tribunal (or industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland) unless a settlement agreement (NMWM05370) or an agreement made through the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has been reached between the employee and employer.