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Does 'Sleeping-In' Count As Working Time?

on Friday, 19 March 2021.

The question of whether workers should receive the national minimum wage for time they are required to be on site, but asleep, has been a contentious one and has been a real concern for boarding schools and other schools with residential staff.

In a decision that will come as a great relief to many in the sector, the Supreme Court has today published its decision in the case of Mencap v Tomlinson Blake following the hearing last February. The Supreme Court has upheld the view of the Court of Appeal that, in most cases during a sleep shift, workers will be merely available for work, rather than actually working, and so will only be entitled to the national minimum wage when awake for the purposes of working.

Although this will still be dependent on the facts, most schools will be compliant with the national minimum wage when considering the salary paid to boarding staff and the time that they actually spend responding to issues overnight. It is important that records are kept to ensure compliance.

For further guidance on this topic, please contact Alice Reeve on 0117 314 5383, your usual Employment Law team contact, or complete the form below.

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