National Minimum Wage: draft consolidated regulations

Closed 15 Sep 2014

Opened 22 Jul 2014

Results updated 22 Jan 2015

The responses showed general support for the draft consolidated regulations and agreed that the detailed rules are clearer and more workable. Most respondents said that even greater clarity would be welcome, particularly in the guidance.



Since they were introduced, the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (“the 1999 Regulations”) have been amended over twenty times. As well as the annual changes to the minimum wage rates, there have been a number of substantial changes to the rules, for example in relation to exemptions to the minimum wage, what counts as hours worked for time workers and the replacement of “fair estimate” agreements for output work with rated output work.

As part of the Red Tape Challenge, the Government concluded that the 1999 Regulations and the subsequent amending regulations should be consolidated into a single set of Regulations. We have also taken the opportunity to update the drafting to reflect current drafting practice (such as making the provisions gender-neutral) and to try and ensure that the rules are set out as clearly as possible. For example, we use a formula where this would be easier to understand than setting everything out in words.

There are more individual regulations in the draft consolidated Regulations. This is because we have tried to ensure that each individual regulation does not cover a number of different issues. For example, regulation 15 of the 1999 Regulations (“provisions in relation to time work”) sets out the rules on the treatment of time when a worker is: at home and required to be available for work; provided with sleeping facilities; travelling; engaged in industrial action; and on a rest break. These rules are now set out in separate regulations which will make it easier to find the relevant rules.

This consultation seeks views on whether the draft National Minimum Wage (Consolidation) Regulations are sufficiently clear and workable.


Why your views matter

This consultation seeks views on whether the draft National Minimum Wage (Consolidation) Regulations are sufficiently clear and workable.  The consultation is not intended to reopen the policy decisions behind the detailed rules.

The Government believes that it is important that the minimum wage rules are appropriate.  In the longer term we will be doing further work to review some of the detailed rules, which may require substantive change.  Such proposals for policy changes would be likely to be the subject of a future consultation.  For example, we will be looking to try and reduce the complexity of the apprentice minimum wage rate and and have asked the Low Pay Commission to provide advice on this issue as part of their report to Government in 2015.  We are also seeking views on whether there are other areas of the minimum wage rules that could be improved.


  • SMEs (small and medium businesses)
  • Large businesses (over 250 staff)


  • National Minimum Wage