There has been a case about sleep-in care workers that has gone from Tribunal, to the Appeal Tribunal, to the Court of Appeal. It has been going on for quite a while, and looks as though it will keep going for a while yet. The union supporting the care worker has asked for permission to go to the Supreme Court.
This case is about sleep-in care workers who have to stay at work as part of their jobs. Their union says they should be paid for all of the time they are on shift at work, including when they are asleep. The Courts and Tribunals have been looking at the point about whether they are “available for work” or “actually working”.
If the care workers are required to be awake, they would apparently be said to be working. What’s the difference? They are entitled to the national minimum wage if they are working. If they are only “available for work” they may not be.
If the case was decided for the workers, their employers might have a huge liability for back-pay. This is causing great concern amongst the care fraternity because the implications for care providers could be very difficult for them to bear.
The Supreme Court hearing would not be until late 2019. I will keep a watch on this and let you know of interesting developments.
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