The pay reference period

The pay reference period is the period used for calculating hourly pay. It is one month or, if the worker is paid by reference to a period that is shorter than a month, that period. Therefore:

  • workers paid daily will have a pay reference period of one day
  • workers paid weekly will have a pay reference period of one week
  • workers paid monthly will have a pay reference period of one month

The pay reference period cannot exceed a month and therefore employers who pay their workers less frequently than monthly (for example, quarterly) still need to ensure that workers receive the NMW each month.