HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

TCTM02457 - Entitlement: WTC entitlement - Qualifying remunerative work: Recognised cycles of work

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

If there is a clear pattern to the claimants work then there is a recognised cycle.

The claimant need not have worked a cycle for a recognised cycle to exist.

If a recognised cycle has been established, such as a person works more often than they don’t, the hours should be applied by a common sense judgement reflecting an overall view of the pattern of the claimant’s hours of work over a representative period or over a year.


An employee has changed their hours for the last 10 weeks of the year from 40 a week to 25 a week. After contacting the claimant, a common sense judgement will determine if the 10 weeks out of 52 weeks is not reflective of their normal working hours, or if the last 10 weeks are now considered to be their normal working hours.

  • include any periods, within the cycle, in which no work is done (for example rest weeks), but
  • exclude any other absences (for example, holiday or unpaid meal breaks).

Note: This guidance applies equally to employed, self-employed earners and directors.


An employee has worked over the last 10 weeks 31,31,30,31,nil,nil,nil,30,30,31 hours after contacting the employee the reason for the nil hours a week sick and two weeks on holiday can be disregarded, so common sense means they would be classed as being in remunerative work as they normally work 30 hours or more per week.

  • Therefore even if the claimant has a period of not working, a determination must be made based on their normal weekly hours or whether it is normal for them to have periods of not working.