On 19 March 2021, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that care workers’ sleep-in shifts do not count as working time and do not need to be paid in line with the National Minimum Wage.
The decision is an insult to care workers who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic – and we’re concerned that some employers will now use this as an opportunity to cut our sleep-in rates.
As care workers, we’re calling on North West commissioning councils to Stand up for Sleep-in Pay to ensure that care workers get the pay we deserve.
Many of us are regularly required to undertake sleep-ins away from our home and our families. We are deployed at our workplace, we are under the direction of our employer and we could be disciplined if we leave during the night.
There’s no way we can get proper rest. We always have to be alert to attend to the needs of the people we care for. This could be providing medication and medical treatment, helping them to the toilet, or calming them down when they are distressed.
It’s an insult to be told that we’re not even worth the national minimum wage for this work – and so we need local councillors and commissioning authorities to support us and Stand Up for Sleep-in Pay by committing to the following pledges:
- Protecting sleep-in rates to ensure no commissioned providers cut sleep-in pay
- Increasing funding where required to allow sleep-ins to be paid at the full hourly rate of pay
- Requiring all providers to pay the full hourly rate for sleep-ins via commissioning and service specifications
Councillors and Commissioning Authorities – If you are a local councillor or commissioning authority in the North West, please confirm your commitment to Stand Up for Sleep-in Pay via email to Bob Brown ([email protected]). You can also download a copy of our pledge card and post a photo on social media. Please copy in our campaign Twitter @StandUpForSC and use the hashtag #StandUpforSleepIns. We'll add any photos to this web pages.
Care Workers – you can Stand Up for Sleep-in Pay by:
- Write to your local councillor. You can find your councillors’ contact details here. If you need further help finding your councillors or would like help writing an email to them, please contact [email protected]
- Sign the petition calling on the Prime Minister to legislate to ensure sleep-ins are paid at least the minimum wage.
- Join the Stand Up for Social Care Facebook group.
- Be prepared to stand up for your sleep-in pay– contact your UNISON branch immediately if your employer attempts to change your sleep-in pay or hours.
We may have lost in the courts – but we must continue to fight for the respect and pay we deserve.