National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - record keeping

Compliance officers' access to minimum wage records

Guide

Officers of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) enforce the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage. They can ask to see your minimum wage records to check whether you are paying the minimum wage.

HMRC can also remove national minimum wage records from your premises in order to copy them, but must return them within a reasonable period.

When required, you must explain your minimum wage records to HMRC Officers, answer questions about them and provide any further information necessary to determine if minimum wage has been paid. HMRC Officers have the power to enter any premises used to carry out an employer's business, or which the employer uses in connection with his business, including the premises of businesses which place and employ agency workers.

You may be subject to criminal prosecution if you:

  • refuse or wilfully neglect to pay a worker at a rate at least equal to the national minimum wage for any pay reference period
  • fail to keep or preserve records
  • make, or knowingly cause or allow a false entry to be made in minimum wage records
  • produce, or knowingly cause or allow false records or information to be produced
  • refuse or prevent an enforcement officer from seeing these minimum wage records
  • refuse or neglect to answer any questions, give information or produce any documents to an enforcement officer when required to do so

You will also be vulnerable in any civil dispute about whether the minimum wage has been paid, since the burden of proving this rests on you.

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