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Wednesday, 3 October 2023

Calculating the National Minimum Wage: unmeasured work

If you do not think you are doing time work, salaried hours work or output work - then you are probably doing unmeasured work. Even with unmeasured work almost all workers are still entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Unmeasured work

Pay and Work Rights Helpline

Confidential help and advice on the NMW

0800 917 2368

Unmeasured work is any work that isn’t time work, salaried hours work or output work. In particular, unmeasured work is where you have tasks to do but your employer doesn’t set the times when you have to do them, or requires you to carry out work as needed or when it is available.

If you have read the articles on output work, time work and salaried hours work and you do not think these described your working pattern then you probably do unmeasured work. If you are unsure you can contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline for confidential help.

Hours that count towards the NMW

The hours of unmeasured work which count for the NMW can be identified in either of two ways:

  • reaching a ‘daily average’ agreement of hours to be worked
  • recording every hour worked

A daily average agreement is a written agreement between you and your employer, made before the start of the pay reference period that it covers. It must state the daily average number of hours you are likely to work each day - which has to be realistic.

If you don’t have a daily average agreement, your employer must record the hours you work during the pay reference period and pay you, on average, the NMW for every hour.

Calculating whether you are paid the NMW

To find out whether you are being paid the NMW when doing unmeasured work you should divide what you were paid in the pay reference period by the number of hours you worked.

Example calculation of unmeasured work

You are a 38 year old, weekly paid worker. In a particular week you are paid £120. Your agreed daily average number of hours (in other words, the number of hours you are considered likely to work every day) is five. In that particular week you were available for work, for the full five hours expected of you, on four days.

Step one: calculate the amount of work you have done - five hours x four days = 20 hours

Step two: divide your pay by the hours you have worked - £120/20 hours = £6/hour

Your pay is below the NMW.

Where to get help

The Pay and Work Rights Helpline offers confidential help and advice on the NMW in over 100 languages. If you aren’t being paid the NMW you can contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline or use the online enquiry or complaint form.

Additional links

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