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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Disclosure of Information: Insolvency Service Disqualification Unit; liquidators, administrators and administrative receivers

The Disqualification Unit is part of the Insolvency Service, an Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (NMWM02020). The unit considers referrals from insolvency practitioners and Official Receivers regarding whether to commence disqualification proceedings to prevent unfit persons from acting as company directors.

The Disqualification Unit may need national minimum wage information to show a course of conduct by the director, for example details of the director’s failure to comply with an Employment Tribunal decision following an Appeal against a national minimum wage enforcement notice. This information may not always be available from the company’s own records so the unit may contact a local national minimum wage team regarding previous non-compliance with the national minimum wage.

Disclosure with Lawful Authority

Liquidators, administrators and administrative receivers ‘stand in the shoes’ of the company therefore national minimum wage teams can legally provide information to, and request information from, appointed insolvency practitioners. However, the Disqualification Unit is regarded as a third party and so, despite being part of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (NMWM16210) there is no legal gateway to allow the disclosure of national minimum wage information to the Disqualification Unit (NMWM16290).

The Insolvency Service may ask you to provide them with documents or information under powers conferred on them by section 447(3) of the Companies Act 185. This Act is not binding on the Crown so you cannot disclose any information in response to such a request.

Information regarding a company may only be disclosed to the Disqualification Unit with the consent of the company. This consent should be provided by a representative of the company, liquidator, administrative receiver or administrator appointed to deal with the company’s affairs. Generally the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills will automatically supply the consent when requesting the information. Only certain information can be disclosed (NMWM16290).

It should be noted that if a receiver is appointed under the Scots law of receivership, their powers do not extend to authorising the release of information to third parties.