Sleeping doesn’t count for National Minimum Wage

1st August, 2018

There has been good news recently in the care sector following the Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad that in order for National Minimum Wage (NMW) to apply, a worker must actually be required to be awake and not asleep on call.

This follows the original decision handed down on 21 April 2017 that determined that a sleep-in worker should be paid NMW for those hours, and which was widely expected to cost the sector £400m in back-pay liabilities.

The Court of Appeal in making its decision determined that the workers were classified as being ‘available for work’ rather than ‘actually working’ and therefore fell within the sleep-in exception from the NMW regulations.

As a result, the only time that qualifies for NMW is when the worker is required to be awake, and they should be remunerated accordingly.

This will have a major impact on the care home sector who may have thought that they had underpaid their staff and feared being named and shamed publicly.

Should you have already taken advantage of the HMRC settlement opportunity, or if you have any general questions regarding NMW, please contact us to see how we can help.

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