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Employment Rights/Wages

National Minimum Wage

All workers, including agricultural workers, are entitled to receive at least the national minimum wage.  There are detailed rules specifying what payments can count towards payment of the National Minimum Wage and the periods of time for which payment must be made.

Details can be obtained by contacting the minimum wage helpline on 0845 6000 678.  For guidance about specific employee rights, including various business sectors, go to directgov

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Working Time and Holidays

Working Time Regulations 1998 introduce a number of basic rights and protections, these include:

  • A limit of an average 48 hours a week which a worker can be required to work
  • A right to 11 hours rest a day
  • A right to a day off a week
  • A right to an in-work rest break of 20 minutes if you work six hours or more
  • A right to four weeks paid leave per year

It should also be noted that employers should not treat fixed term employees less favourably than comparable permanent employees on the grounds they are fixed term employees, unless this is objectively justified.  For more details and specific sector advice further information is available in the leaflet "A guide to the working time regulations" available by telephoning 0845 6000 925 or

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You are required to provide an itemised statement at or before the time at which wages are paid. This should show gross pay and net pay after deductions.

You must operate a PAYE scheme and deduct tax from your employees' pay.  The details of what to deduct and in what circumstances is contained within guidance, "Employer's Further Guide to PAYE and National Insurance Contributions" which is available on or by telephoning 0845 6000 925.

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Holiday and Sick Pay

All workers are entitled to holiday pay.  They are also entitled to sick pay if they meet the qualifying conditions.  All workers are entitled to four weeks paid leave excluding public holidays.  For further information log on to

For further help on detailed issues related to employee rights contact the Inland Revenue:

  • New Business (less than 3 years) 0845 60 70 143
  • More experienced business 0845 7143 143

Website: or

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