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This article was published on July 10th, 2017
Focus Care Agency v Roberts
Certain industries, perhaps most notably the care industry, rely on workers being on-call; sometimes even sleeping at work so that they’re on site and available to help if needed. The perennial question, for employment law purposes, is whether these workers are ‘working’ – and entitled to the rights that go with that (not least the National Minimum Wage) – for the entire time, and not just when they are awake and attending to duties.
That issue presented itself to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Focus Care Agency v Roberts, one of three cases heard together. Sadly, it didn’t lead to a definitive answer on whether or not workers who sleep-in are entitled to the National Minimum Wage. But here are some of the factors that the EAT said should be taken into account in these cases:
None of these factors is, by itself, conclusive. This calls for an examination of the facts and an overall assessment of whether being at work means ‘working’.