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NACAS STATEMENT ON THE RULING OF THE COURT OF APPEAL ON THE MENCAP SLEEP-IN CASE: An Unfair Deal for Hard working Care Workers

The Court of Appeal ruling of Friday 13th July 2018 that the National Minimum Wage (NMW) does not apply to sleep-in shifts unless the worker is awake for the purpose of working is received with huge disappointment by the millions of hard-working care workers who are already on low pay.

Most care workers are required to be at work in some instances for up to 12 hours a night in an uncomfortable environment often comprising of an office and a sofa bed. Care workers very often can barely get an hour of uninterrupted sleep due to the anticipation of being awoken to attend to the person they care for or not being able to fall back asleep after being awake.

It is therefore fair that a sleep-in shift is considered as a working hours shift.

It has always been NACAS position that the expectation on employers to pay for years of unfunded sleep in shifts was unrealistic, with a huge consequential negative impact on an already fragile industry. However, it is our continued belief that care workers are entitled to be paid a National Minimum Wage for time spent at work.

We have previously called on the UK Government to show leadership on this matter, to ensure that care workers get a fair deal and that employers are supported in the process. Therefore, we would like to call on the newly appointed Secretary of State Rt Hon. Matt Hancock and the Minister of Social Care Rt Hon. Caroline Dinenage to show leadership by initiating dialogue with care workers on this issue as a matter of urgency to ensure that all care workers get a fair and better deal.

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