This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Enforcement & Proceedings: Introduction

Where a NMW Officer has identified that arrears of national minimum wage are owed by an employer to one or more of their workers they will normally issue a notice of underpayment (NMWM13030).

Employers frequently pay arrears and the associated penalty without delay. However, in a minority of cases, some form of legal proceedings may be necessary.

There are a variety of legal proceedings which can apply in cases involving national minimum wage. These include;

  • Proceedings at an employment tribunal (in Northern Ireland, the industrial tribunal);
  • Civil proceedings in the County Court (in Scotland, the Sheriff Court);
  • Criminal proceedings at a Magistrates or Crown Court.

The type of proceedings which are appropriate will depend on the circumstances of the individual case. The proceedings may be initiated by;

  • A worker enforcing their own contractual right to be paid at least national minimum wage (NMWM15020);
  • An employer appealing (NMWM15030) against a notice of underpayment issued by HM Revenue & Customs (NMWM02030); or
  • HM Revenue & Customs; either for payments due from a notice of underpayment (NMWM15100) or in respect of a criminal offence (NMWM15150).

The legal representative for HM Revenue & Customs will depend on the location of the proceedings;

* In England and Wales; Commissioners for Revenue & Customs Solicitors Office, Employment Team (NMW)
* In Scotland; HMRC Division, Office of the Solicitor to the Advocate General
* In Northern Ireland The Crown Solicitor’s Office

Any penalties imposed by a notice of underpayment are managed by HM Revenue & Customs Debt Management and Banking under their collection strategy (NMWM14130).