Sleeping on the Job….do they still get paid?

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Care worker was required to stay over at a patient’s house from 11pm to 7am the following morning for a fixed fee of £40.

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It was recently discussed whether workers who are required to sleep at work, are entitled to be paid whilst they sleep.  It was ruled that in some cases, yes they are.

In this case, the Claimant was a care worker, paid minimum wage, to provide care and support at a patients home. She would be paid for the time spent at the patients home but not time spent travelling to each patients home. On occasions, the Claimant was required to stay over at a patient’s house from 11pm to 7am the following morning for which a fixed fee of £40 was paid. This was below the minimum wage for the 8 hours she was required to stay at the patients home. The employer argued that because she was given a bed and told she could sleep when her services were not required, that she was not entitled to a hourly rate.

The Claimant was successful in claiming that she was undertaking ‘time work’ and as such, under Regulation 3 of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, she was entitled to minimum wage for each hour she spent at the patients home, whether awake or asleep.  She was further entitled to minimum wage for her travelling time due to the nature of her work.


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