Payment for sleeping on the job

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In Whittlestone v BJP Home Support Ltd (UKEAT/0128/13/BA), the Employment Appeal Tribunal considered whether an employee was entitled to the national minimum wage (NMW) for the hours she spent sleeping at work.

Ms Whittlestone was employed to provide care for vulnerable adults (service users) and as part of her duties she was expected to visit service users’ homes. In addition to her usual daytime duties (the core hours), Ms Whittlestone also agreed regularly to stay overnight at the home of three service users with Down’s Syndrome (the sleepover shift).

Each sleepover shift lasted approximately eight hours and Ms Whittlestone was required to stay on the premises for the entire duration of the sleepover shifts. Ms Whittlestone was provided with a camp bed and was permitted to sleep through the shift unless her assistance was required…

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