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Pay your workers while they sleep or end up in court, care homes warned

By Mblazeby  |  Posted: May 23, 2014

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Care home owners are being urged to review their payments to ‘sleep-in’ night workers after a ground-breaking employment tribunal ruled in a senior care worker’s favour.

The court agreed with the care worker who insisted she was entitled to the minimum wage (£6.31) for the time she was required to be at the employer’s premises, regardless of whether she was awake or asleep.

The care worker had worked a day shift followed by a sleeping shift from 9pm to 7am and was paid just £25, roughly £2.50 an hour.

Her case was successful and she was awarded £15,000 for her employers’ failure to pay the minimum wage.

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The Employment Appeal Tribunal determined that the worker was required to be on the premises to fulfil a legal requirement and was consequently eligible for the minimum wage.

Kate Brooks, Associate Solicitor at Ellis Jones' Employment Department, said: "This will be hard-hitting for care home owners in particular.

"We would urge them to review payment of their night workers as soon as possible and deal with any outstanding payments for national minimum wage in order to avoid costly tribunal actions."

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