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Employment law update: Sleep in workers Minimum Wage Requirements

An Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case has highlighted the importance of minimum wage requirements for sleep in workers. Following recent decisions on the subject, it has been determined that an on-call night worker who lives at his or her place of work is not entitled to National Minimum Wage (NMW) for all hours of the night. Nick Rowe, employment solicitor and head of employment law at Lodders’ Cheltenham office, explains.


The EAT held in Shannon v Clifton House Residential, that an employee is only entitled to NMW for the hours during which he or she is awake and actually working.

The Claimant in this case fell within the exception under Regulation 16(1A) of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 because he lived in the residential home where he was employed, and the time in question was time he was entitled to spend at home.

The employment tribunal was also entitled to take account of the fact that there was another night worker on duty and that in practice the Claimant was rarely called upon. The decided cases in this particularly fact-sensitive area demonstrate that mere presence does not itself necessarily entitle a worker to the NMW for the whole shift.

What does this mean for you?

This case highlights the importance of the consideration of what is actually happening within the work place in question. Following the well reported recent decisions on sleep in workers, each of these cases regarding workers who sleep in will be determined in light of what is actually required of these people when they are present at work and the overall assessment of the situation by the judiciary will be influenced by the facts of each individual set of circumstances.

Lodders’ employment solicitors offer accurate, focused and solution-based legal advice from our offices in Stratford upon Avon and Cheltenham to a wide range of clients, who require assistance with the complexities of employment law. For help or advice please contact Nick Rowe on 01242 229096 or drop him an email.

Nick Rowe, Lodders Solicitors

Nick Rowe, Lodders Solicitors

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