Nicholas Siddall QC analyses the recent decision of the EAT (HHJ Auerbach) in HMRC-v-Middlesbrough FC  UKEAT/0234/19 and comments on the clarification therein provided as to matters of EAT procedure and also the proper scope of the obligation to pay the National Minimum Wage (“NMW”).
Middlesbrough Football Club (“MFC”) offered an option to its employees to purchase season tickets for family members. It operated a scheme whereby the employees (if they so chose) received the season ticket at the start of the football season but could pay for the same over the course of the year. To the uninitiated this might be felt to raise no issue of NMW compliance, as it was simply an indulgence afforded to staff, but HMRC considered otherwise. This was on the basis that the sums for the season ticket were deducted at source by MFC from the employee’s wages and thus were considered to fall foul of NMWR.
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