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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Technical Manual

Entitlement: WTC entitlement - Qualifying remunerative work: On duty and on call

R(FIS) 2/82

A person is working whilst on duty even when no actual work is done during the period (for example, a fire fighter). Some people on call receive payments to compensate for being available to be recalled to duty (when private activities are restricted). People on call are working only for the periods when they are recalled to duty.


  • Wardens of old people’s flats are required, at specified times, to be present at the flats in case of emergency. Whether they can be considered to be on duty during that time depends upon their contract with the employer. In many situations the warden will be merely on call although the employer may make a payment to compensate for the fact that private activities are restricted. During other periods the warden is likely to be on duty even though at times there may be no work to do.
  • A person whose job is to be available at premises other than their home would be on duty (and so doing work) even if there was no work to do other than being available (for example a fire-fighter or an emergency telephone operator).