Care worker, sleepovers and the national minimum wage
Posted by Catherine Daw on 15th November 2013
Are individuals who undertake sleepovers entitled to the minimum wage for the whole period even if they are asleep?
In the case of Whittlestone -v- BJP Home Support Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal indicated that employees are entitled to be paid for all the time they spend at work even if they are sleeping.
The case brought by Mrs Whittlestone was based on a common scenario. Mrs Whittlestone was a care worker and was paid £6.35 per hour for time spent attending to service users at their homes. She was not paid for her travel time. On occasion she did “sleepovers” when she stayed at clients’ homes overnight and for which she was paid £40.00. When she did a sleepover Mrs Whittlestone was given a bed and she was allowed to sleep except when she was needed to help the service user.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal decided that Mrs Whittlestone was entitled to be paid the national minimum wage throughout the time she spent doing sleepovers even when she was not helping the service user and was asleep. She was also entitled to the national minimum wage for her travel time between the homes of service users.