An employment tribunal has ruled that care workers who sleep in at a service user’s home are now entitled to be paid the national minimum wage (NMW) for all hours worked, including the hours spent asleep.
This decision will heavily impact on the social care sector, with wage costs likely to increase for many providers, and the influx of backdated claims for up to six years are expected.
Nevertheless, the judge ruling in this care stressed that the law remains unclear on this matter and that there is no one single factor that will decide these cases and that employers have to look at several issues, including:
- Is the worker there to comply with a legal or contractual requirement?
- Are the worker’s activities restricted and would the worker be disciplined if they left the premises?
- Is the worker responsible to take action?