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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Specific occupations & special Groups: Armed Forces, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and workers at military bases

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • National Minimum Wage Act 1998, section 37(1) & (2), section 37A

Members of UK armed forces

Members of the armed forces, including reservists when they are serving, are not entitled to the national minimum wage. This does not apply to civilians in an association of reservists or people working for the Ministry of Defence (NMWM06090) who may be workers (NMWM05020) for national minimum wage purposes.

Cadet force adult volunteers

A Cadet Force Adult Volunteer is the term used to refer to any adult who volunteers to assist in the delivery of the Ministry of Defence (NMWM06090) MOD-sponsored cadet force programme. They may be members of the armed forces (primarily the reserve forces) or may be a uniformed or non-uniformed civilian.

The Cadet Forces do not form part of the Armed Forces or the Reserve Forces. They are:

  • The Combined Cadet Force;
  • The Sea Cadet Corps;
  • The Army Cadet Force;
  • The Air Training Corps

From 13 November 2008, a person who performs work as a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer does not qualify for the national minimum wage under section 37A of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998. However, the exemption does not apply where an individual is performing work for the Cadet Forces in the course of Crown Employment (such as employment by a Reserve Forces and Cadet Association set up under the Reserve Forces Act 1996). Nor does it affect any entitlement Cadet Force Adult Volunteers may have to the national minimum wage for work performed outside of their volunteer activities as Cadet Force Adult Volunteers.

From December 2006 to 12 November 2008, HM Revenue & Customs did not investigate complaints from Cadet Force Adult Volunteers in line with a published Policy Statement from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. However, during this time, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers could still take their own complaint to a Tribunal. This Policy Statement is now withdrawn.

Civilian workers at military bases

A civilian worker engaged on a military base qualifies for the national minimum wage if the base is located within the United Kingdom. If the base is not located within the United Kingdom they will not be entitled unless they ordinary work under their contract in the United Kingdom (NMWM05030). This applies whether or not they pay United Kingdom tax or National Insurance.

Members of other countries armed forces

Member of armed forces of other countries who are ordinarily working under their contract in the United Kingdom (NMWM05030) qualify for the national minimum wage in the normal way (NMWM05010).