Paying employees on sleep-in shifts

Certain care workers undertake sleep-in shifts while on duty overnight. Such workers were commonly paid a flat amount for each sleep-in shift, which would be less than the hourly National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate.

An employment tribunal has now ruled such workers must be paid at least the NMW for time spent on sleep-in shifts. HMRC is enforcing that ruling with the penalties applied for periods from 1 November 2017. However, employers may be required to pay arrears of underpaid wages for sleep-in shifts from an earlier date, such as 1 April 2017.

If you are one of those employers, you should register for the government’s social care compliance scheme, which will give you further assistance to comply, such as:

  • PAYE guidance on NMW arrears
  • a template spreadsheet to record the amount of arrears paid
  • a template letter to issue to workers when arrears payments need to be made
  • guidance on what employee pension contributions are due in respect of arrears of pay

We can help you work out the tax and pension deductions due and submit the necessary updates to HMRC.