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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Records, Evidence, Powers & Offences: Offences; offences committed by relevant persons and bodies corporate

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

* National Minimum Wage Act 1998, section 32


Where an employer is a body corporate, such as a registered company, corporation, institution, Government agency, registered charity, etc. and it is proved that the employer has committed a national minimum wage offence;

  • with the consent or connivance of an officer of the employer; or
  • attributable to any neglect on the part of such an officer;

then both the body corporate and the officer is guilty of the offence and liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

An “officer” in a body corporate means a person, who is, or acting as, a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body. Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members the “officer” will be a person whose functions of management are akin to being a director of the employer.

The terms consent, connivance and neglect are not defined in national minimum wage legislation. Generally, something done with the consent or connivance of someone normally means something done with their agreement or permission, either explicit or implicit. Negligence will generally occur when someone fails to do what a prudent and reasonable person would do, or simply fails to exercise reasonable care.