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National Minimum Wage – workers who sleep on site between duties

Print publication

01/04/2015

The answer to that question is not always as clear as it should be and employers risk penalties and fines under the National Minimum Wage Act (NMW) and health and safety legislation (including the Working Time Regulations 1998) if they get it wrong. Given the Government’s latest ‘crackdown’ on employers in breach of the NMW (including public ‘naming and shaming’) it is as important as ever to remain vigilant to any potential breaches.

Recent guidance suggests that workers may be held to be ‘working’ whilst sleeping if there is a statutory requirement for them to be present or if they would face disciplinary action if they left the place where they were sleeping. If, however, sleeping facilities at work are provided but the worker is free to come and go as they please as long as they sleep there (perhaps for security reasons) then this is less likely to constitute working time for the purposes of the NMW.

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