Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Working time: salaried hours work; absences - holidays and other absences

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 23(1)
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulation 21(3)


For a worker performing salaried hours work, the times when the worker is absent for hours falling within the basic hours, such as a holiday or sick absence, still need to be taken into account when calculating whether excess hours have been worked (NMWM08110).

Where a worker is contractually entitled to, and receives, their normal salary for absences (NMWM08070) then the hours absent are included in the time treated as worked as determined by their the basic hours (NMWM08030) for the pay reference period.

Where a worker is absent and not entitled to be paid, or receives no pay or reduced pay, an adjustment is required to the hours to be treated as worked in the respective pay reference period (NMWM08070) (see also NMWM09080).

However, when looking at time treated as worked for excess hours purposes, ALL the hours absent which fall within the basic hours are included when considering whether excess hours have been worked. It does not matter whether those hours are treated as worked or paid. This avoids a situation where a worker who is absent has to “catch-up” for any basic hours not worked due to absence when excess hours are considered.)

For example; a monthly paid worker performing salaried hours work has 2080 basic hours in a calculation year. The contract provides no pay for the first 3 days of any sickness absence and then full pay up to 6 months.

  • The time treated as worked for each pay reference period is 173.33 hours (NMWM08035).

In June, the worker was absent from work for four days due to illness. The employer paid the salary according to the contract, less 3 days for sickness absence calculated as 24 hours pay (3 days of 8 hours).

The time treated as worked for national minimum wage purposes for that pay reference period is 149.33 hours (173.33 hours less 24 hours unpaid sick absence). However, when considering the excess hours position, the hours taken into account are (1) the actual hours worked in the pay reference period plus (2) the 32 hours of absence (4 days of 8 hours).

The only absence involving basic hours which is treated differently is an absence in connection with industrial action (NMWM08230).