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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Working time: time work; waiting time at or near a place of work

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 32
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulations 15(1) & 15(1A)


Time where a worker performing time work is not working but is required by their employer to be available at or near a place of work for the purposes of working is treated as working time for national minimum wage purposes, even if the worker is simply waiting to be given work, is “on call” or “stand by” (NMWM08270).

It does not matter whether during such time the employer provides any work for the worker to do, or whether the worker actually performs work. The relevant factors are the employer requiring the presence of the worker at a specified location and time of their choosing and the worker complying with that requirement.

However, where a worker is permitted to remain at home whilst waiting for work, in readiness to respond as required, the time spent at home waiting will not be treated as working time unless work is actually being performed.

Special consideration is required for any waiting time which involves the worker using facilities provided by the employer to sleep at or near a place of work (NMWM08280).