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Sleeping on the job

In a hugely significant decision which will see many employers breathing a huge sigh of relief, the Court of Appeal has held that employees sleeping in at their employers’ premises while ‘on call’ are not entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage for their entire shift.

Based on the previous tribunal decision it had been estimated that the potential liability would amount to £400 million in backpay and it threatened to force smaller employers out of business.

The decision also provides clarity by ruling that workers who sleep at premises while ‘on call’ for emergencies are merely available for work – and not entitled to the NMW until actually called upon. It remains to be seen whether this decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Jonathan Dale, head of our employment law team, has written an article that considers the implications for the care sector and examines this case in greater detail. You can view this article by clicking here.

If you would like advice on any aspect of employment law, or for more information on any of the issues mentioned in this article, please get in touch with Jonathan Dale directly by emailing or speak to the team today by calling 01482 325 242.

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