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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Working time: time work; sleeping time

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

* National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, regulations 32



For a worker performing time work, the time when a worker is waiting for work (NMWM08260) or “on call” (NMWM08270) needs careful consideration to determine whether such time is treated as working time.

Generally, where an employer require a worker performing time work to be available at or near a place of work such hours are treated as working time. The exception to this rule is where a worker is not working and able to use sleeping facilities which are provided at or near the place of work.

Any hours where the worker is not working and able to use sleeping facilities will not be treated as working time as long as;

  • the facilities are suitable for the purpose (for example the worker is provided with a bed in a location where it is reasonable to sleep); and
  • the worker is not awake for the purposes of working.

Where a worker is working during such periods then such time will be working time.

When considering such arrangements it is important to identify whether the worker is working or not. It might be helpful when forming a view to consider the contractual arrangements between the parties and to identify any work-related responsibilities being performed. For example, a worker who is required to be in attendance to meet an obligation of the employer, such as a statutory requirement, could be working regardless of the level of activity of the worker.