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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

After notice of underpayment issued: dealing with queries or further information from workers and/or their agents

General

When further information is provided by workers or their agents after a Notice of Underpayment has been issued, it should always be reviewed to see:

  • if it alters your view of the arrears on the notice,
  • whether it requires further investigation,
  • whether it needs to be notified or copied to others,
  • whether the information should be acknowledged and/or
  • whether the sender needs to be provided with advice.

If the notification contains a complaint you must notify your People Leader immediately who will arrange to contact the HM Revenue & Customs Complaints Handling Team.

If the information concerns insolvency or administration see NMWM14270 

The NMW Officer’s further action depends on whether or not the case is subject to proceedings or an appeal has been made.

Notice appealed or civil proceedings being undertaken

Where the Notice of Underpayment has been appealed or the case has already been submitted for civil proceedings, our Solicitors are responsible for managing the case. You must therefore copy any information or correspondence received to the Operational Advisory Team and our Solicitors immediately and liaise with them about any further action required.

Criminal proceedings being undertaken or considered

Where the employer is being considered for criminal proceedings you must contact the Operational Advisory Team immediately on receipt of any further information. Do not acknowledge correspondence or take any action unless advised to do so.

Case not subject to proceedings or an appeal

Where a case is not subject to civil enforcement proceedings or an appeal and a worker or their agent contacts HM Revenue & Customs to provide information after the issue of a Notice of Underpayment, the NMW Officer’s action is dependent on whether or not that worker is included on the original Notice of Underpayment.

You should acknowledge any correspondence received and respond to any queries raised. When you have investigated the matter and decided if any further action is required, you should then tell the worker whether or not the information they have provided will lead to any further action on your part.

When the worker was named on the notice, the NMW Officer should consider whether the new information changes their opinion of the arrears on the notice or merits further investigation. If so, you should take the appropriate action. In these circumstances, the notice may eventually need to be withdrawn and if necessary replaced (NMWM14210).

If the worker provides information which does not affect the NMW Officer’s opinion of the arrears on a notice, but raises other national minimum wage related issues, you should deal with those accordingly. You may need to speak to your People Leader or contact the Operational Advisory Team for advice.

If the worker was not named on the notice, the NMW Officer should:

  • speak to their People Leader about whether the worker appears to have a claim to national minimum wage arrears which now needs to be investigated;
  • decide whether the information they have provided casts doubt about the accuracy of an existing Notice of Underpayment and whether this needs further investigation. It may be necessary for the NMW Officer to review available evidence and/or to revise an earlier opinion which led to the issue of a notice. Sometimes it may be necessary to withdraw or withdraw and replace a notice (NMWM14210).
  • consider whether the information they have provided needs some other appropriate action. The NMW Officer may want to take advice from their People Leader or the Operational Advisory Team.