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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Working time: time work; travelling time

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, regulations 19(b), 20 & 34
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulations 7, 15(2) & 19(1)(b)

General

For a worker performing time work, the time when a worker is travelling for the purpose of working (i.e. in connection with the employment) is treated as working time.

Such travelling will commonly fall within a worker’s normal working time when they would otherwise be working. However, even where the travelling varies the normal working time, the time spent travelling is still treated as working time.

For national minimum wage purposes, the travelling between a worker’s place of residence (including temporary residence) and the place of their work is not considered as travelling for the purposes of work. Any time spent on such “home to work” travelling is not considered as working time and not treated as time worked.

Assignment work

Travelling for the purpose of working for national minimum wage purposes includes the time a worker spends travelling between assignments which need to be carried out at different places, to which the worker is obliged to travel.

Travelling in connection with training

Travelling for the purpose of working for national minimum wage purposes includes the time a worker spends travelling between a place of work and a place where training is being provided.

Consideration of travelling time

When considering travelling time for national minimum wage purposes it is necessary to identify the time the worker spends travelling for the purpose of working. A primary consideration will be whether such travelling is in connection with the employment. The mode of transport is not a consideration, so a NMW Officer will not accept a suggestion by an employer that a worker’s travelling time should be adjusted as if they took an alternate mode of transport or different route to what actually occurred. Neither is it persuasive for an employer to identify travelling times based on optimal travelling conditions, such as computer-calculated planned routes where such routes do not represent the actual circumstances of the travelling, such as distance, weather conditions or traffic delays.

It is appropriate to identify any time where the worker interrupts travelling in order take a break (NMWM08310). Time when a break is taken during the course of a journey is not travelling time nor treated as working time. However, it should be noted that periods of waiting during travelling, such as queuing traffic, waiting for transport connections, etc. are likely to be treated as time worked and not automatically assumed to be time when a break is being taken.