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).