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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

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


When further information is provided by the employer or their agent 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, notify your People Leader immediately who will consider and arrange to contact the HM Revenue & Customs Complaints Handling Team as appropriate.

If the notification is an attempt to appeal a notice advise the sender (and the employer, if the employer is not the sender) immediately that an appeal cannot be made to HM Revenue & Customs and instead they must contact the appropriate Tribunal without delay. You should also advise them that there are time limits for submitting an appeal, which are 28 calendar days from the date of service of the notice. Keep a dated record of the details provided to the sender.

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

If, after a Notice of Underpayment has been issued, the employer or their agent contacts HM Revenue & Customs to query the notice or provide information and an appeal has not been lodged, the NMW Officer should:

  • remind them there is 28 days from the date of service of the notice to make an appeal to the Tribunal (if the time limit for appealing has not already passed),
  • acknowledge the information and tell the sender it will be considered and any appropriate action taken.

The NMW Officer should then decide whether the information merits further investigation and/or whether it changes their opinion about the existing notice. It may be necessary to review the available evidence and revise an earlier opinion which led to the issue of a notice. Sometimes it may be necessary to withdraw (NMWM14220) or withdraw and replace (NMWM14230) a notice.