Judgment has been delivered by the EAT in a group of cases heard as a collective appeal on the issue of care workers’ sleep-in shifts and the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
The three cases concerned a very similar issue of whether a carer performing a sleep-in shift was working during the shift and therefore whether they were entitled to receive the NMW. This is an important issue for the care sector as the affordability of paying NMW per hour for every sleep-in shift performed rather than a fixed allowance for the whole night which is adopted by many care sector organisations, is questionable.
In considering the three appeals before it the EAT concluded that hours during sleep-in shifts can, in certain circumstances, be taken into account in calculating whether the average hourly rate is less than the NMW. One of the cases in this appeal was Royal Mencap Society v Mrs Tomlinson-Blake, the facts of which we focus on in this article. Mencap has indicated that it intends to appeal against this decision.