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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Working time: working time directive

Relevant legislation

The legislation that applies to this page is as follows:

  • Working Time Regulations 1998


Both the National Minimum Wage Regulations and Working Time Regulations contain detailed provisions as to what counts as working time (i.e. time worked and treated as worked). Whilst there may be some similarities in the terms and descriptions used it is important to be aware that these respective regulations have completely different functions and what is counted as working time is NOT interchangeable between the regulations.

When considering what is and is not counted as working time for national minimum wage it is not appropriate to rely on any report or judgment relating to Working Time Regulations when forming a view regarding national minimum wage.

One notable difference between the respective areas is the treatment of sleeping time. Special rules need to be considered regarding sleeping time (NMWM08180 and NMWM08280) as such sleeping time may not be working time for national minimum wage purposes. However, such time is likely to be considered to be working time for the purpose of the Working Time Regulations.