overnight support (sleepovers)

People who receive care and support services may need support overnight. Historically this was often provided through a ‘sleepover’ shift. This is where a staff member would sleep overnight  in someone’s home to be on hand if they required support through the night.  Typically these shifts were paid at a flat rate as the employee was no considered to be actively working throughout the night.

In 2014 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that sleepovers are deemed ‘working time’ and that sleepover hours must now be paid at the National Living Wage (NLW.) The decision was then overturned by the court of appeal    which ruled that employees were only due NLW for ‘time work’ i.e. for the time they spent attending to the person they support during the night.   Unison has brought a further challenge and has been given leave to appeal.

In 2016 The Scottish Government made a commitment to paying the Scottish Living Wage (SLW) for social care workers and in 2017-18 they reiterated this commitment applied to the payment of the SLW for sleepover hours.  At the time of writing (March 2019) full implementation has not been achieved.

While CCPS supports this initiative in principle we are clear that the commitment is not affordable for providers and may not actually deliver the uplift to frontline staff wages envisaged.  Our intelligence, from a sample of 18  providers delivering over 500,000 sleepovers per year  puts the (salary only) cost of implementation at over £14M.

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