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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Specific occupations & special groups: shareholders

A shareholder is a person, company or other institution who owns a share in a company - so a shareholder is a part owner of that business. Their shareholding entitles them to vote on certain issues regarding the operation of the business. Shareholders can also be workers (NMWM05020) for the same business. If so, they are entitled to national minimum wage in the normal way.

Shareholders can receive payment from a company via the payment of a share dividend. Such a payment is not paid in respect of any work undertaken by the individual in the capacity of a worker (NMWM05020). Therefore, a payment by way of a share dividend does not count towards the payment of the national minimum wage even if the shareholder is also a worker of the company in which he is a shareholder.

Some shareholders may also be office holders (NMWM05140) of the company in which they hold shares.