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National Minimum Wage

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Should payments made by the Claimant to rent his vehicle and uniform have been treated as reductions when calculating his pay for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage?

Yes, held the EAT in Augustine v Data Cars Ltd.

The Claimant was employed as a driver for the Respondent. He claimed that he had been paid less than the National Minimum Wage once you factored in his expenses that the Respondent had not repaid.

The tribunal held that the car rental payments and uniform costs fell outside of regulations 12 and 13 National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015. It found that the Claimant was not obliged to purchase a uniform, it was a choice if he wanted to access a higher level of work.

The Claimant appealed.

The EAT held that both the vehicle rental and the uniform costs were expenses ‘in connection with’ the Claimant’s employment for the purposes of regulation 13. The tribunal had incorrectly applied the test. It is not a test of necessity; the fact that the Claimant could have used his own car is irrelevant, the vehicle rental was in connection with his employment.

Thanks to Kate Lea of didlaw for preparing this case summary.