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Appeal dismissed on rates of pay for night time care

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the appeal brought by trade union UNISON in respect of rates of pay for night time care.

This focused on whether residential workers who are required to remain at the home in their shift and/or residential workers who ‘sleep in’ are entitled to the national minimum wage for time that it not spent actually performing some specific activity.

An employment tribunal initially found in favour of the client, Clare Tomlinson-Blake, but the Court of Appeal overturned this in 2018 and in 2019 the Supreme Court granted permission for this to be appealed.

As it currently stands, a residential worker who is required to work overnight but is able to sleep during that period unless they are needed to perform a work task, is not entitled to National Minimum Wage. UNISON, on behalf of individual care workers who have been overnight carers and not been paid National Minimum Wage, took this issue to court and an appeal was brought to the Supreme Court who ruled last week that the appeal is dismissed and overnight sleep-in workers are not entitled to the hourly National Minimum Wage.

This ruling comes as a blow for thousands of social care workers across the country. The judgement further underscores the need for the Government in England to set out what it has long promised but currently has failed to deliver – a long term solution to resolve the crisis in Adult Social Care.

Such reform should include the renumeration and working conditions for residential and care staff, ensuring the workforce is properly staffed, and reform should make sure every person in need of good care and support receives it.

You can read the full ruling here: