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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Specific occupations & special groups: workers coming from abroad

Residency and nationality are not requirements for entitlement to national minimum wage (NMWM05020) unless the worker is a mariner or sea farer where special rules may apply (NMWM06180).

Workers coming from abroad and legally working in the United Kingdom are entitled to the national minimum wage in the normal way, regardless of how long or short their stay may be. It does not matter whether their employer is based in the United Kingdom or in another country.

However, if a person arrives and stays in the United Kingdom illegally or is here legally but is working in breach of their conditions of stay they will be considered to be an illegal worker (NMWM05200) for national minimum wage purposes.

Some workers coming from abroad will be working in the agricultural sector through the Worker Registration Scheme (NMWM06330). Examples of other workers coming from abroad may include, but are not limited to, embassy staff (NMWM06110), members of overseas armed forces (NMWM06040) or through the Seasonal Agricultural Workers’ scheme (NMWM06220).