Cheshire East Council is to ‘consider the implications’ of a Court of Appeal decision on ‘sleep-in’ payments for carers.
The ruling follows a successful appeal by disabilities charity Mencap, who argued that a previous tribunal decision, which compelled care providers to fund six years' back pay for overnight carers, was unaffordable for charities and care businesses.
Kath O’Dwyer, acting chief executive of Cheshire East Council, said: “Cheshire East Council welcomes the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Mencap vs Tomlinson-Blake tribunal appeal.
“The court ruled that sleep-in shifts are exempt from national minimum-wage rules because staff should not be considered at work when they are sleeping.
“The original tribunal ruling had meant that employers could face significant unfunded back payments. The resulting additional cost could have placed care providers in significant financial difficulty and, therefore, potentially putting the care of vulnerable people at risk.
“The fact that the court of appeal has now overturned this ruling is, therefore, very good news for many vulnerable residents in our community.
“The council recognises and values the important work its dedicated staff provide and is committed to ensuring that staff are paid fairly for their work and will now consider the implications of this judgment in detail.
“Sleep-in allowances paid to council staff, the majority of whom work in the Care4ce domiciliary care team, have already been uprated to reflect increases in the national minimum wage and ensure that we can continue to recruit and retain the staff we need to provide high-quality and sustainable social care to our most vulnerable residents.”