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In brief

The government has updated its guidance on calculating the national minimum wage for sleep-in workers following a recent Supreme Court decision.


Key takeaways 

  • The Supreme Court held in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and others that sleep-in workers are entitled to the national minimum wage only when they are awake for the purposes of working.  
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has now updated its guidance.  It confirms that while sleep-in workers are not entitled to the minimum wage for those periods when they are permitted to be asleep, the position is different for workers who are expected to perform work activities for all or most of a shift, and only permitted to sleep between tasks when possible.  Those workers are likely to be entitled to the national minimum wage for the whole of the shift, including time spent asleep.
  • The guidance includes examples of workers with different work patterns who may be permitted to sleep at work, and explains whether they would be entitled to the national minimum wage.   
  • While the guidance is helpful for employers, each situation will be fact-specific.
  • For further information and to discuss what this development might mean for you, please get in touch with your usual Baker McKenzie contact.
Author

James Brown is a Knowledge Lawyer in Baker McKenzie's London office.

Author

Rachel Farr is a Knowledge Lawyer in Baker McKenzie's London office.

Author

Mandy Li is a Knowledge Lawyer in Baker McKenzie London office.

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