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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Disclosure of information: exchange of information with other HM Revenue & Customs’ Teams

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005, section 17


National minimum wage enforcement is a function of HM Revenue & Customs (NMWM02030).

From April 2005 HM Revenue & Customs national minimum wage officers have a statutory authority to share information they hold with other HM Revenue & Customs officers. Section 17 Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act states;

“Information acquired by the Revenue and Customs in connection with a function may be used by them in connection with any other function”.

This means that, with a few exceptions (see IDG20000), any information held by one part of HM Revenue & Customs, including national minimum wage information (NMWM16050), may be passed to any other part of HM Revenue & Customs provided there is a business need. A business need is a valid reason, directly connected to HM Revenue & Customs functions, for information to be passed from one member of staff to another in the course of their duties.

It is important to ensure there is an appropriate business need for information to be shared within HM Revenue & Customs. For example, there is not a business need where information is passed on solely because that information is personally interesting to the recipient.

There will be a business need should a request be made for wage details for an Employer Compliance Review. It is however unlikely that there would be a business need for a copy of an individual’s training contract. If you are in doubt about whether there is an appropriate business need, ask your line manager who may wish to challenge the request by asking for the business need to be confirmed.

Details of any request for information and the business need should be recorded and details forwarded to the NMW Risk Team (NMWM02040) for statistical purposes. Whilst there are no audit trails necessary for obtaining or disclosing information within HM Revenue & Customs it is good business practice to keep appropriate documentation with the business needs clearly recorded in the file.