Deductions from a final salary payment to repay training costs can only be ignored when calculating whether the employee has received the national minimum wage if the repayment is under a contractual right and due as a result of the employee’s misconduct or other conduct for which the employee is responsible (such as a voluntary resignation).

If the deduction for repayment is made on redundancy, ill health absence or other events for which the employee is not responsible, it will not be ignored and could lead to the employer paying insufficient for the final period of employment to satisfy the national minimum wage.

Employers should check whether their contractual provisions require repayment of training costs only where the employee is responsible for termination. (Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v Lorne Stewart)