Definition of wages

By Tolley in association with Sarah Bradford
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The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Sarah Bradford provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Definition of wages
  • Amount of wages
  • Definition of wages

Wages are defined as any sums payable to the worker in connection with the employment.

ERA 1996, s 27

Employers generally agree the basic rate and frequency at which they will pay their employees. The rate must not be less than the National Minimum Wage (see the National minimum wage – overview guidance note). The rate of pay and / or method of calculating pay constitute key information contained in the written statement of particulars at the commencement of employment. See the Written statement of particulars or terms and conditions guidance note. The written statement of particulars should be updated with any changes subsequently agreed. The employer will then be obliged to pay wages to the employee at the agreed rate whenever the employee is ready and willing to work. In other words the employer will have to pay wages irrespective of whether or not he can provide work for the employee to do.

In the written statement employers and employees may also agree that the employee will be entitled to wages in other situations. Typical examples include:

  • bonuses
  • agreed commission
  • contractual holiday pay
  • contractual sick pay

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