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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Records, Evidence, Powers & Offences: Evidence; checking and challenging


If a NMW Officer forms a view that a worker has not been paid at least the national minimum wage they must ensure that the information obtained during the investigation is not only sufficient but stands up to scrutiny. This is achieved by NMW Officers using an approach of “checking and challenging” the information being provided.

What is “checking and challenging”?

“Checking and challenging” is the term used by NMW Officers to describe the process of clarifying information being provided to them. “Checking and challenging” applies to any party providing information to an investigation but is most commonly used when clarifying information provided by both;

To ensure that investigations by HM Revenue & Customs (NMWM02030) remain impartial (NMWM12150) it is important that, where a NMW Officer undertakes “checking and challenging”, they apply equally the same standards to both employers and workers. “Checking and challenging” information when it is initially provided can help avoid misunderstandings and potentially minimise contradictory evidence. Steps should always be taken to identify and challenge any gaps, discrepancies, contradictions, inconsistencies or weaknesses in information provided by either side. Where necessary, action should be taken to gather additional information to corroborate details and clarify unresolved issues.