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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Types of work: confirming output work

For a worker to be performing output work the employer must ensure that the worker is paid according to the rated output work system and that:

  • The arrangements relating to the pieces of work in question do not attempt to set any normal, minimum or maximum working hours.
  • The employer does not control or set the hours worked by the worker in relation to the piece/task to be processed.
  • The employer has determined the mean hourly output rate (NMWM03150) in relation to the piece/task to be processed.
  • The employer has given the worker a written notice before the start of the worker’s pay reference period. There is no need for a new notice before every pay reference period unless the terms of the notice change. The notice must contain all of the following elements:
  • An explanation that it is being given to inform the worker that, for the purposes for compliance with the minimum wage legislation, the worker will be treated as working for a certain period of time;
  • For the purposes of determining that period of time the employer has conducted a test or, where applicable, made an estimate of the average speed at which his workers produce the piece or perform the task;
  • State what the mean hourly output rate (NMWM03150) is for the piece or task
  • State the rate to be paid to the worker for the production of one piece or performance of one task; and
  • Give the telephone number of the national minimum wage helpline (the Pay & Work Rights helpline) and identify it as the number of the national minimum wage helpline.

Where a worker does/makes a number of different things for the same employer - one notice can be issued but it must specify the rate for each different type of piece or different task.

If a worker is not provided with a suitably written notice then the person cannot be treated as an output worker and must be paid for each hour they work.