New Forest

10/05/2021

National Minimum Wage and Sleep-in workers

A previous Court of Appeals ruling has been upheld by the Supreme Court concerning whether residential care workers are entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the entirety of their ‘sleep-in’ shift.

In February 2020, it was ruled that such workers were ‘available for work’ and therefore only entitled to the NMW for the hours they were awake as a result of providing care during the ‘sleep-in’ shift. The Supreme Court agreed with the ruling.

While care workers have found the ruling disappointing, it has been welcomed by employers, many of whom are charities. Several had said that the requirement to pay the NMW for the full period of a sleep-in shift would be economically unsustainable, and with many charities feeling the financial strain of the pandemic, it provides some relief.

It should also be noted that this ruling only applies to workers who are generally expected to sleep for the duration of their shift and are only woken occasionally. Any employee who is permitted to sleep in between their duties during a shift is not affected.

For further information on sleep in workers, please contact Michaela Johns on 023 8046 1256.

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