Entitlement to National Minimum Wage: Working or ordinarily working in the United Kingdom
The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:
- National Minimum Wage Act 1998, section 1(2)(b)
For a worker to be entitled to the national minimum wage they must be ‘working or ordinarily working in the United Kingdom’.
The term ‘ordinarily’ is not defined in employment or national minimum wage legislation. However, it is acceptable to use a dictionary interpretation of the term, such as ‘normally’. Therefore, in cases where a worker normally works within the United Kingdom with the occasional periods abroad the worker will be entitled to national minimum wage for all the hours in his contract, including those hours worked outside the United Kingdom.
Where a worker works for the majority of their time overseas, e.g. over 50% of the time, then they would fall outside a definition of ‘ordinarily works in the United Kingdom’ and will not be entitled to national minimum wage for the time they are not working in the United Kingdom (although they would be entitled to national minimum wage for the times they are working in the United Kingdom in the normal way).
When investigating whether a worker is ordinarily working in the United Kingdom, NMW Officers need to check what happens in practice as well as the contractual arrangements before forming an opinion regarding entitlement to national minimum wage.
It should be noted that residency and nationality are not requirements for entitlement to national minimum wage - although special rules may apply for a worker who is a mariner/seafarer (NMWM06180) or offshore worker (NMWM06200).