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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Issuing notices of underpayment: who should issue a notice

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • National Minimum Wage Act, section 19


The notice of underpayment will usually be issued by the NMW Officer who has investigated the case. Before issuing the notice they must review the case and decide whether the evidence they have already gathered is sufficient to form an opinion that national minimum wage arrears have arisen. They should identify any gaps, weaknesses or discrepancies in the investigation, and if necessary, take steps to gather additional information and/or resolve any outstanding issues before issuing a notice of underpayment. This review of the evidence must be clearly recorded. When they are satisfied that the evidence is sufficient to form an opinion, they should consider issuing a notice of underpayment (NMWM13030).

Original investigating officer unable to issue notice

In normal circumstances, the officer who has investigated the case will issue the notice. When this is not possible, another NMW Officer or People Leader can do this. In this situation, the person signing the notice must:

  • review the case, and
  • note that they have considered the evidence collected earlier by their colleague, and
  • indicate the extent to which they have taken that evidence into account, and
  • ensure that evidence is sufficient for them to form their own opinion on the case, and
  • be satisfied that the issue of a notice of underpayment is appropriate.

If they do not consider the available evidence to be sufficient or think that further information is required or that gaps or discrepancies need to be further explored, then a notice of underpayment should not be issued at this stage, and they should arrange for the case to continue to be investigated as normal.