Directors and the National Living Wage

Directors are considered to be office holders and therefore not entitled to the NLW.

Directors with a service contact, even if the terms are implied in some way, will be entitled to the NLW. Entitlement means that they must be paid at least the NLW or the employer (their company in most cases) will be subject to penalties.

I am not sure when a director could be considered to have an implied contract, but I think it would be prudent to have a clear definition. Any offers?

Many, if not most directors are advised to take the low salary, high dividend approach, and until we have some certainty about the definition of an implied contract, clients who have taken our advice in this way (typically, an £8,164 salary for 2017-18 and any balance as dividends) may be sitting on a compliance nightmare if HMRC come along and convert working practices into implied contracts of employment.

I am happy to post any comments received for the benefit of all…

Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

4 thoughts on “Directors and the National Living Wage”

  1. In its simplest form, if the company provides products or services and insures itself with an office, 3rd party liability, or professional indemnity policy to underwrite the potential liability from or created by its employees and there are no other employees than the director/s then there is an implied contract.
    If there are other employees then the Director is responsible for their actions and there is still an implied contract.
    I’m certain there are dozens of alternative examples of an implied contract. Such a policy stance is 20 years overdue. Had this been adopted many years ago the need for IR35 would never have been spawned.

  2. One of those don’t poke the bear issues!

    gets complicated we advise female directors to remunerate to meet min wage on working housr as smp is only available for those withan employment contract working on nmw.
    so that leads you very close to the auto enrollment cliff !


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