Decision in Tomlinson Blake v Mencap case
The Supreme Court has handed down the long awaited decision in the case of Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake.
In 2018 the Court of Appeal found that Ms TB (a care worker) was only “available for work” when she was working a sleep-in shift, and was therefore not entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for these hours. The Court of Appeal held that she was only entitled to the NMW when she was actually carrying out her duties, and not when she was sleeping or resting. Ms TB appealed against this decision to the Supreme Court which heard the case in February 2020.
The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal meaning that the Court of Appeal’s earlier decision continues to apply. The position therefore remains that care workers who sleep overnight as part of their duties will not be entitled to the NMW unless they are awake and working. The time a worker is required to sleep on site or nearby doesn’t count towards minimum wage calculations.
This will be a huge relief for businesses operating in the care sector, but will be a significant disappointment for care workers.
Once we have the full details of the judgement we will report in further detail.