This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Entitlement to National Minimum Wage: Superior employers

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • National Minimum Wage Act 1998, section 48


There are special rules that cover instances where an employer of a worker is himself in the employment of someone else and the worker is employed on the premises of that other person. In these circumstances the other person is termed the “superior employer” and is deemed to be the joint employer of the worker together with the immediate employer. They are jointly liable for all national minimum wage purposes.

For example:

‘Employer A’ is run by a single person and employs worker X. The single person operating as ‘Employer A’ is themselves working for Company B.

If ‘Employer A’ brings in worker X to undertake work for him on the premises of Company B, then Company B as well as ‘Employer A’ are jointly responsible for ensuring that worker X is paid the national minimum wage. (This ensures that Company B cannot create a situation where workers working on their own premises are paid less than the national minimum wage by engaging them through its own workers).

Any investigation involving superior employers requires any interviews and correspondence (including notices of underpayment) to be addressed to both employers.