Careworkers should be paid the national minimum wage for every hour of a sleep-in, even when they are asleep

This is what the Employment Appeal Tribunal has decided in the recent case of Mrs J Whittlestone v BJP Home Support Ltd.

In this case, Mrs Whittlestone was employed as a careworker and was paid £6.35 per hour for time she actually spent providing care at the home of a service user.

She was also required to undertake ‘sleepovers’ where she stayed at a service user’s house from 11pm to 7am. She was there to provide physical care, if required, during the night for three young adults who suffered from Down’s Syndrome. There was no evidence that she ever woke up from her sleep in order to provide any specific care. Mrs Whittlestone was paid £40 per week for any eight-hour ‘sleepovers’ that she undertook. Among other things, Mrs Whittlestone claimed that she should be paid at the rate of the national minimum wage for the eight-hour sleep-in…

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