Payment according to the amount of time spent at work, as opposed to output or performance. Rates are usually fixed in relation to a standard number of hours worked per week, which would be written into the employee’s contract of employment. Time rate payment systems are most appropriate when: it is difficult to measure the output or performance of individual workers – for example – teachers or nurses; quality matters rather than quantity as staff don’t need to worry about the time they take. Time based payment systems are least appropriate when the business is subject to significant changes in demand. In which case an employee may be idle from, say, 2 or 3 o clock every day but still get paid for a full day’s work.