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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Entitlement to national minimum wage: workers participating in the European Union programmes; Leonardo da Vinci and Youth in Action

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

For pay reference periods commencing

* on or after 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulations 56(a), 56(b) & 56(c)
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulations 12(13), 12(14) & 12(15)


A worker participating in

  • the second or latest phase of the European Community Leonardo da Vinci programme; or
  • in the European Community Youth in Action Programme.

does not qualify for the national minimum wage in respect of work done for his employer as part of that scheme.

From 2013, these programmes were replaced by the Europe Union mobility schemes established under the Erasmus+ programme, pursuant to Regulation 1288/2013/EC. Such schemes are being treated in the same way for national minimum wage purposes so a worker will not qualify for national minimum wage in respect of work done for his employer as part of such schemes.

Leonardo Da Vinci Programme

The Leonardo da Vinci programme links policy to practice in the field of vocational education and training. Projects range from those which give individuals the chance to improve their competences, knowledge and skills through a period abroad, to Europe-wide co-operation between training organisations.

Part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, the programme funds a wide range of projects including cross-border mobility initiatives and co-operation projects to develop and spread innovation.

Leonardo da Vinci enables organisations to work with European partners, exchange best practices, increasing the expertise of their staff and respond to the teaching and learning needs of people. It therefore supports efforts to make vocational education more attractive to young people. By helping European citizens to acquire new skills, knowledge and qualifications, the programme also aims to bolster the competitiveness of the European labour market.

Youth in Action Programme

On 15 November 2006, the European Parliament and the Council established the Youth in Action Programme for the period 2007 to 2013 for young people aged 15-28 (in some cases 13-30). It aims to inspire a sense of active citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union’s future.

Youth in Action promotes mobility within and beyond the EU borders, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background.

See also: Workers participating in the European Union programmes; Erasmus+ and Comenius (NMWM05362).