News

Appeal court rules flat rate for sleep-in care workers is fair

The court of appeal has overturned a ruling on payments for care workers who carry out “sleep-in” shifts for clients with learning disabilities, potentially averting a crisis that employers claim would have jeopardised the care of vulnerable people.

A court ruled last year that care workers should be paid the national minimum wage (NMW) for every hour of a sleep-in shift, rather than a flat rate – in effect doubling the cost of a shift to £60. It said providers should be liable for six years of back-pay to carers.

On Friday, the court reversed the back-pay decision and ruled flat-rate payments were fair, meaning sleep-in shift care workers could receive the full rate only for those hours during which they were awake and assisting the client.

Employers welcomed the ruling, saying the back-pay liability, collectively estimated at about £400m, would have bankrupted many providers. But they called on the government to issue new guidance on how workers are to be paid for sleep-in shifts, and properly fund the costs.

Local authorities – which fund the cost of sleep-in shifts through their adult social care budgets – were relieved by the ruling, though they said clarity was needed over future costs. Councils in England face an estimated £2bn funding gap in adult social care. More

Find us

Southwark Carers
3rd Floor, Walworth Methodist Church,
54 Camberwell Road, London, SE5 0EN
View map and directions

Contact us

020 7708 4497

Find us

Nearest tube – Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).

Nearest Railway Station – Elephant & Castle

Buses from Elephant and Castle – ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45