National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - record keeping

Minimum wage records you must keep


By law, you are required to keep sufficient records to show that you are paying your workers at least the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. There is no definition of what counts as 'sufficient' records. The situation will vary from employer to employer and from worker to worker. It is left to your own judgment for each worker.

Generally, if you are keeping full payroll records this should be sufficient for minimum wage purposes. It is for you to judge when, for any particular worker, you should keep more detailed or specific records to show you are paying at least the minimum wage.

If a worker brings a claim for unpaid minimum wage to a tribunal or court, the burden will be on the employer to prove that the minimum wage has been paid. You will need to have records to enable you to provide this proof.

Minimum wage records: which details should I keep?

The records you should consider keeping include records which show:

  • total pay paid to workers
  • the hours they have worked
  • overtime, shifts or other circumstances when there are increased rates of pay
  • details of any allowances paid to the workers
  • any deduction or payment for living accommodation provided by the employer to the workers
  • amounts representing tips, service charges, gratuities or cover charges paid to the worker - when paid through the payroll these only counted towards NMW pay up to 1 October 2009
  • any absences - for example - rest breaks, sick leave, holidays
  • any travel or training undertaken by the workers during work hours
  • bank statements or other commercial documentation
  • contracts and agreements between you and your workers
  • workers' dates of birth
  • payments and deductions for expenditure incurred by the worker in connection with the employment
  • payments for travelling to a temporary workplace (and any associated subsistence and accommodation) which are allowed as deductions from earnings under section 338 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003
  • documents to show why a worker is exempt from the minimum wage

The above is not intended to be a definitive or comprehensive list. The details of records to be kept may differ from case to case and also according to the type of work being done.

If you have a 'daily average' agreement with a worker, you must also keep a copy of that agreement. For more information, see what is unmeasured work for minimum wage purposes?

If you are employing rated output workers and paying fair piece rates, you must keep a copy of the written notices served on your workers and a copy of the data showing how you arrived at the 'mean hourly output rate' for all relevant pieces/tasks. For more information, see what is output work for minimum wage purposes?

If you are unsure whether you are keeping sufficient records of minimum wage payments, you should contact the Acas Helpline on Tel 0300 123 1100.