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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Types of work: salaried hours work - pay intervals

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, regulation 21(5)
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulation 4

For a worker to be performing salaried hours work (NMWM07020) they must be working under a contract to do salaried hours work and meet all the necessary conditions (NMWM07025). One of those conditions is that a worker must be paid his annual salary either:

  • In equal weekly or monthly instalments, or
  • By varying monthly instalments but with the result that the worker is paid an equal amount in each quarter.

There are certain limited circumstances when this rule does not apply and salaried hours work can still be applicable. These exceptions are when:

  • The worker receives a performance bonus (NMWM07034);
  • The employment starts and/or ends resulting in a proportionate amount of the annual salary being paid that week or month;
  • The worker’s annual salary for his basic hours is varied. For example because the worker receives a pay rise;
  • The worker is entitled to national minimum wage for hours worked in excess of his basic hours when he has no contractual entitlement to be paid for those hours. For example the worker works more than his basic annual hours but is not entitled to an overtime payment for those hours under his contract.

Establishing the worker’s pay intervals

It should be relatively straightforward to decide the pattern by which a worker is paid.

A worker can be doing salaried hours work:

  • Where a contract specifies that they will be paid an annual salary in equal monthly or weekly payments, the same amount should be paid each month/week regardless of how many hours or days are actually worked in a particular month or week. For example, the same monthly amount is paid for February which has fewer working days than March.
  • If they are paid in a monthly pay pattern where the monthly amounts paid vary but result in equal amounts being paid in total each quarter. For example a worker is paid £2000, £2000 and £2500 in consecutive months throughout the year. Although the payments vary each month, the total paid each quarter is always £6500.

Where a contract specifies that a worker is paid their salary in any other pattern, (for example, every 4 weeks, per term for 3 terms each year or per fortnight) then salaried hours work is not appropriate.

Where a worker is paid weekly, they will not be performing salaried hours work if:

  • Their salary has been divided by 52 and is paid to cover the work done in only 52 weeks of the year, or
  • They are simply paid a set amount for working a set number of hours per week.

This is because in both these circumstances the weekly payments would not cover the total basic hours in the full calendar year for which the worker was entitled to be paid his annual salary (NMWM07030).