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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Deductions and payments from workers: disclosure and barring service, Disclosure Scotland and Access Northern Ireland

 

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, regulation 12(1)
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulations 32(1)(b) & 34(1)(c)

England and Wales - Disclosure and Barring Service checks

The fee for a Disclosure and Barring Service Bureau check (sometimes known as a DBS check and formerly known as a CRB check) is the liability of the individual upon whom that check is being undertaken. Any deduction made from the worker’s pay to pay for this check on his behalf will NOT therefore reduce national minimum wage pay since it is paid over by the employer to a third party to meet the liability of the worker (NMWM11180).

The cost of a Disclosure and Barring Service check is NOT considered an expense for national minimum wage purposes (NMWM11100), since it is a requirement for securing the employment and, unlike an expense, it does not arise from performing the job itself.

If the worker makes a payment to the employer to cover the cost of the Disclosure and Barring Service, the amount of the payment will not need to be reduced from the worker’s national minimum wage pay.

If the employer imposes an administrative charge for handling the application, then the amount of the administrative charge will reduce the worker’s national minimum wage pay (NMWM11050).

If the worker is not charged for a Disclosure and Barring Service check but the employer pays the cost directly to a third party on behalf of the worker and does not seek to recover the cost, the amount paid does not count towards national minimum wage pay as it is not a payment being made to the worker (NMWM09060).

Scotland - Protection of Vulnerable Groups checks

In February 2011 a new system for checks was introduced in Scotland; Protections of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Checks. The cost of individual registration in the scheme lies with the individual so:-

  • any deduction from a worker’s pay to meet the cost of the registration on the worker’s behalf

or

  • any payment made to the employer to meet the cost of registration on the worker’s behalf
  • will NOT reduce national minimum wage pay. If the employer imposes an administrative charge for handling the registration, see NMWM11050.

This does not apply to employer costs associated with the PVG scheme. For example, the employer may need to request a PVG scheme record or PVG scheme record update. The liability for the cost of these checks lies with the employer. If these costs are passed on to the worker either by deduction or payment then the deduction or payment will reduce national minimum wage pay.

Northern Ireland - Access Northern Ireland checks

Access Northern Ireland applications for disclosure are the individual’s liability so any deduction for a worker’s pay or any payment made to the employer by the worker to meet the cost of an application on the worker’s behalf will NOT reduce national minimum wage pay. If the employer imposes an administrative charge for handling the application, see NMWM11050. This does not apply to employer costs associated with the Access Northern Ireland Scheme. For example, the employer needs to register with the scheme. The liability for the cost of registration lies with the employer. If these costs are passed on to the worker either by deduction or payment then the deduction or payment will reduce national minimum wage pay.

Other work-related fees may not be treated the same, it will depend on the nature of the charge and the arrangement between the parties. For guidance on how to consider other fees and charges see NMWM11230.

For general advice on how deductions and payments from workers affect national minimum wage pay, see NMWM11020 and NMWM11030.