Government suspends ‘sleep-in’ shift enforcement

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The Government has announced a further one month suspension of minimum wage enforcement for sleep-in shifts in social care in order to minimise disruption to the sector.

The move follows  July’s decision to waive all historic penalties where employers incorrectly paid workers a flat rate for sleep-in shifts instead of hourly rates (see Government suspends sleep-in penalties).

Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, said: “We will continue to work with the Government during this extension period with the aim of seeing back pay liability fully funded.  However, we must see this issue resolved and are disappointed that the Government has not yet made a decision. We also need clarity on the future and how it will be funded.  Providers and the people they care for need certainty.”

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Care England said it remained “deeply concerned” about the threats to the learning disability sector posed by the retrospective liability and future sleep-in proposals.

The body said: “It is vital that any decision that Government reaches in relation to funding of sleep-ins being paid at the National Living Wage, takes full account of the reality that the sector has been operating for years within very contradictory guidance; and that there is no blame for providers.

“In these circumstances it must be right that Government should accept the responsibility for meeting the substantial costs of back dating sleep-in costs up until the date of the announcement on 26 July. None of the additional funding announced for social care in 2017 has been allocated to meet the demand of retrospective liability.”

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