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Paying a fair wage for piece work – UK legislation

Work out the average rate of work per hour

To work out the rate to pay workers, employers must carry out a fair test to see what the average rate of work is.

Test some or all of the workers. The group you test must be typical of the whole workforce - not just the most efficient or fastest ones.

Work out how many pieces of work have been completed in a normal, average working hour.

Divide this by the number of workers to work out the average rate.

If the work changes significantly, do another test to work out the new average rate. It’s not necessary to do another test if the same work is being done in a different environment, eg work previously done in a factory being done at home.

Example: Workers are paid for each shirt they make. They can produce on average 12 shirts per hour. This number is divided by 1.2 to make 10. Andy is 21 and is eligible for the minimum wage rate of £6.31. This means he must be paid at least 64p per shirt he makes (£6.31 divided by 10, rounded up).

Source UK government guidelines on how to pay workers a fair rate for piece work
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