This means that however someone gets paid, they still need to work out their equivalent hourly rate to see if they’re getting the minimum wage.
There are different ways of checking that workers get the minimum wage depending on whether they are:
- paid by the hour (known as ‘time work’)
- paid an annual salary, under a contract for a basic number of hours each year (known as ‘salaried hours’)
- paid by the piece - the number of things they make, or tasks they complete (known as ‘output work’)
- paid in other ways (known as ‘unmeasured work’)
Use the National Minimum Wage calculator to check if payments are over the minimum wage.
What counts as working time
For all types of work, include time spent:
- at work and required to be working, or on standby near the workplace (but don’t include rest breaks that are taken)
- not working because of machine breakdown, but kept at the workplace
- waiting to collect goods, meet someone for work or start a job
- travelling in connection with work, including travelling from one work assignment to another
- training or travelling to training
- at work and under certain work-related responsibilities even when workers are allowed to sleep (whether or not a place to sleep is provided)
Don’t include time spent:
- travelling between home and work
- away from work on rest breaks, holidays, sick leave or maternity leave
- on industrial action
- not working but at the workplace or available for work at or near the workplace during a time when workers are allowed to sleep (and you provide a place to sleep)
A care worker has 2 appointments in the morning and doesn’t take any breaks. The worker must be paid at least the minimum wage for the time he spends at the appointments, plus the travel time between appointments.
Example 2 A care worker has 2 appointments, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. After the first appointment he goes home to have a break before he goes to his afternoon appointment. The time spent travelling from the first appointment to his home and from his home to the second appointment doesn’t count towards the minimum wage.
If the care worker didn’t go home but took a break on the way to his next appointment, he would be paid for any travel time but not for the break.
Example 3 A care worker has one appointment in the morning, then goes to the office to work there. At the office she is entitled to a 30-minute break. Then she goes to another appointment in the afternoon.
The worker must be paid at least the minimum wage for the time at the appointments, plus the travel time to and from the office. The break at the office doesn’t count towards her minimum wage calculation.
Call the Acas helpline for advice about the National Minimum Wage.