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This comprehensive IDS Employment Law Handbook gives a full explanation of the law relating to the payment of wages. ‘Wages’ may be identified as the return due to a worker for making his or her labour available to an employer. On this level, there could hardly be a more fundamental aspect of the employment relationship. Rights and duties in relation to wages are largely governed by the individual contract of employment, but there are also significant statutory rights that supplement contractual terms or, in some cases, restrict their operation. For example, the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 sets out a minimum hourly rate of pay below which wages must not fall, the Working Time Regulations 1998 entitle workers to an irreducible minimum entitlement to paid annual leave, and the Employment Rights Act 1996 provides an important statutory remedy for workers who consider that their wages are being unlawfully withheld.