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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

Entitlement: WTC entitlement - Qualifying remunerative work: Hours worked - employed earners

The Working Tax Credit (Entitlement and Maximum Rate) Regulations 2002, Reg. 4(3)(a)

Although the hours a person is employed must come within the terms of their contract of employment, the number of hours normally worked and taken into account for WTC purposes may differ from those originally laid down.

The claimant should decide the number of hours worked based on their usual or typical hours. In many jobs starting and finishing times will be easily identified. However in others it may be impossible to stop work at a specific time. In these cases the claimant should calculate the actual hours normally worked. The decision-maker should accept that a person’s normal working hours may not be the same as the hours set out in the contract with the employer.


  • A woman’s original contract of employment requires her to work 12 hours a week. In reality she normally works 17 hours a week, for which she is paid by the employer. The work is qualifying remunerative work because the employer paid for the extra 5 hours. (See also ‘Recognised cycle established’ below.)
  • A man’s original contract of employment requires him to work 18 hours a week. He actually works and is paid for 15 hours a week. These are now his normal weekly hours. The work is not qualifying remunerative work because the employer pays the person for 15 hours a week. The original contract of employment is not relevant.