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HMRC internal manual

National Minimum Wage Manual

Working time: time off in lieu

The term “time off in lieu” is commonly used to describe an arrangement where an employer gives a worker time off work instead of payment for hours previously worked (i.e. unpaid overtime).

The concept of “time off in lieu” is not recognised in national minimum wage legislation and for national minimum wage purposes;

  • the hours previously worked are treated as working time in the pay reference period in which they are worked, and
  • the time when the worker is “off in lieu” is treated as a time when no work is performed. (For salaried hours work purposes this means that such time is not included as worked in the pay reference period when considering excess hours, see NMWM08110.)