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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Deductions and payments from workers: training costs

Costs associated with training are sometimes deducted from workers’ pay, or paid by workers in a variety of ways. As with any other payment or deduction it is important to establish the nature of the transaction, and consider that against the normal rules for payments (NMWM11030) and deductions (NMWM11020).

Example 1: Attendance at a training course is a contractual requirement imposed on the worker by the employer. Any charge made by either a deduction or payment will reduce national minimum wage pay since the amount is an expense incurred in carrying out the employment (NMWM11100).

Example 2: A worker enters into a contract to take a college course (not as part of his employment). He asks his employer to pay the college direct and then deduct the payment from his salary at the end of the month. As the deduction is in respect of a payment made to a third party on behalf of the worker it will not reduce national minimum wage pay (NMWM11180).

Care must be taken when training is undertaken prior to commencing work. In these cases it is important to establish when a worker’s contract is formed, and distinguish between what is work and what is part of the employer’s selection process.

Other common issues:

Employer seeks recovery of training costs as a contractual deduction, see NMWM11070.

Employer seeks recovery of training costs after the employment has ended, see NMWM11065 and NMWM11160.