United Kingdom Homecare Association
The professional association for homecare providers

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UKHCA Media Release

Court of Appeal Judgment on Sleep-ins - 13/07/2018

The Court of Appeal has decided that only time spent awake and working during a sleep-in counts as working time, for the purposes of National Minimum Wage compliance, in its judgment on the Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake case handed down today.

UKHCA Policy Director, Colin Angel, commented:

"Today's judgment will be disappointing for hardworking careworkers who had expectations that they would be entitled to back-pay for sleep-ins. 

"The Court of Appeal ruling today confirms that the Regulations were correctly interpreted by employers at the time and removes the uncertainty faced by employers about potential historic liabilities, which were estimated at £400m. 

"The original claimants have been refused permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, so the Court of Appeal's decision appears to have established the case-law conclusively. However, there is a possibility permission to appeal may be sought in the next 28 days from the Supreme Court. 

"Despite today's ruling, employers must still be able to offer careworkers pay rates which are both sufficient to attract staff to undertake sleep-in duties and are compliant with the National Minimum Wage Regulations, as interpreted by the courts. 

"There is also a responsibility on councils, which fund the majority of sleep-in duties, to ensure that the fees they pay to social care providers enable employers to offer appropriate rates of pay to the workforce. Regrettably, we have seen far too many councils fund sleep-in duties at rates which are incompatible with paying at or above the Minimum Wage for every hour worked. We believe that councils so acting (in England) are likely to be in breach of their responsibilities under the Care Act 2014. 

"The role of HMRC's Social Care Compliance Scheme is now unclear, and needs urgent confirmation from Government now case law has been clarified."


Notes for Editors

1. A briefing from Anthony Collins on The Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake judgment in the Court of Appeal is available at: and the judgment can be downloaded at:

2. United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA) is the professional association for more than 2,000 domiciliary care providers in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

3. United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd (UKHCA) is the professional association of home care providers from the independent, voluntary, not-for-profit and statutory sectors. UKHCA helps organisations that provide social care (also known as domiciliary care or homecare), which may include nursing services, to people in their own homes, promoting high standards of care and providing representation with national and regional policy-makers and regulators. The Association represents over two-thousand members across the United Kingdom, in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

4. There are over 9,100 registered homecare providers across the UK, the majority of which (84%) are in the independent and voluntary sectors. We estimate that these organisations employ 527,000 homecare workers, who deliver over 6.29 million hours of care per week to around 536,000 service users, valued at £5.9 billion per annum.

5. Homecare encompasses provision of personal care, to people in their own homes. For many, homecare is the alternative of choice for people who would otherwise need to move into residential accommodation.

6. High resolution royalty-free image of Colin Angel, Policy and Campaigns Director is available, as follows:

7. For further information please contact:

Colin Angel, Policy and Campaigns Director
United Kingdom Homecare Association Ltd
Sutton Business Centre, Restmor Way, Wallington, SM6 7AH

Telephone: 020 8661 8188
Mobile: 07393 012113

Registered in England, No. 3083104.

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