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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Accommodation and accommodation offset: living accommodation

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

For pay reference periods commencing

* on or after 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulations 9, 10, 14(1), 15, 16 & 16(3)
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulations 9, 30, 31(1)(i), 36, 36A & 37

For the accommodation offset (NMWM10020) to apply, the accommodation must be both:

  • provided to the worker by the employer (NMWM10040), and
  • be living accommodation.

Accommodation should be regarded as living accommodation for national minimum wage purposes when it provides the worker with access to and free use of:

  • a bed (this can be in a shared room), and
  • washing facilities (these may be shared with other residents but must afford some degree of privacy), and
  • toilet facilities (these may be shared, but again must afford some degree of privacy).

These facilities must be within the accommodation itself or reasonably close by.

The facilities must all be provided but do not have to reach any set standard for the accommodation to be considered as living accommodation. For example, living accommodation could be:

  • a bed in a communal dormitory with shared washing and toilet facilities;
  • a shared bedroom in a family home with the worker given free access to the household bathroom.

Also the accommodation does not have to include all the items a worker may desire. Living accommodation may still be provided when there is:

* a shared bathroom with no shower;
* no facilities to wash clothes;

Compliance Officers should form a view based on an examination of the actual arrangements in place. Some example scenarios and comments are provided at (NMWM10110).