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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Working time: output work; performing tests for output rate "fair" piece rate purpose

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 42
* before 6 April 2015; National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, regulations 24 & 26A


Where an employer wishes to set an output rate using average hourly output rates, such as used for calculating a “fair” piece rate (NMWM08360), the employer is required to carry out a test of all their workers, or a representative sample of workers, performing the output in circumstances similar to those in which the work will actually take place. The average output per hour is then divided by the total number of workers tested. Where a sample is used the sample needs to be representative in terms of work speed, i.e. not based on workers who are faster than average.

For a worker performing output work, the time when they are;

  • performing,
  • travelling to or from,
  • waiting,

in connection with such tests is treated as working time.