Carers who sleep at work are not entitled to the minimum wage for whole shift, court rules


Care workers who sleep at their workplace in case they are needed overnight are not entitled to the minimum wage for their entire shift, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The UK’s highest court upheld a 2018 Court of Appeal decision that ruled carers only have to be paid the minimum wage when they are required to be awake for work after Claire Tomlinson-Blake, a support worker for the Mencap charity, appealed the ruling.

Ms Tomlinson-Blake’s challenge was linked to one brought by John Shannon, a care home worker. Both were dismissed on Friday.

In the court’s written ruling, Lady Arden said that “sleep-in workers … are not doing time work for the purposes of the national minimum wage if they are not awake”.

She said sleeping carers who are “merely present” are “treated as not working for the purpose of calculating the hours”, adding that the fact that they are required to be at the workplace is “insufficient” to lead to the conclusion that are working.


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