Guide

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - who is not entitled to it

Self-employed and the minimum wage

Are the self-employed entitled to the minimum wage?

The minimum wage does not apply to the genuinely self-employed. In most cases it is easy to distinguish between someone who is self-employed and someone who is a 'worker'.

Generally, a self-employed person:

  • agrees a price for the job in advance and gives you an invoice or a bill on completion - see price your product or service
  • controls their own time and decides whether or not to take each job
  • provides their own equipment
  • keeps the profit they make and bears any loss themselves

See National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - who must be paid it.

When it is not clear if someone is self-employed

Sometimes it is not easy to tell if a person is really self-employed. For example, if someone is paid 'commission-only' they may control their own time and keep a share of any profits they make, but they may not be genuinely self-employed for minimum wage purposes if it is not them but someone else, usually their employer, who bears any losses that are made.

You should not simply rely on a person's tax status when determining their entitlement to minimum wage, since someone who has been assessed as 'self-employed' by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for tax purposes may not necessarily be self-employed for the purposes of the minimum wage.

Employed or self-employed?

Check your employment status or contact HMRC to check if you or someone else is classed as employed or self-employed on Tel 0300 123 2326.

If you are unsure, you can call the Acas Helpline on Tel 0300 123 1100 or use their online enquiry form.

If someone you claim is self-employed makes a complaint about minimum wage entitlement it is up to you to prove that you don't employ them as a worker and that they are not entitled to it.