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Supreme Court: ‘Sleep In’ workers only entitled to NMW while awake (19 March 2021)

The Supreme Court has held workers that are required to sleep at or near their place of work are not working for purposes of National Minimum Wage

These Employees were:

  • required to remain on site
  • permitted to sleep and provided facilities to do so
  • but kept listening ear out for emergencies that they must respond to
  • paid a Night Shift allowance of £22.35 and an addition of £6.70 to cover first hour of disturbance.

SC interpreted the NMW laws and the exception with the NMW laws for sleep in working strictly in keeping with the wording and what Parliament intended. That exception only applies if:

  • expected to sleep during Night Shift
  • provided facilities to do so.

The exception would not apply to an Engineer on call who is allowed to nap during his shift but must remain on call.

The full Judgment can be read here