Do you have to pay your workers when they are asleep?

9 March, 2015
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

BIS has issued revised guidance on calculating the national minimum wage. They warn that employers who don’t pay the national minimum wage will be publicly named (and presumably shamed).

One of the issues they consider is what needs to be paid to a worker who sleeps at work. Whilst many of us may dream about work or wake up in the night thinking about work, we don’t usually expect to be paid for this time. However, where a worker sleeps at their place of work, they may be entitled to be paid even when they are asleep. The starting point is to ascertain whether the worker is subject to any work-related responsibilities whilst asleep to the extent that they could be deemed to be working. The examples given by BIS are where there is a statutory requirement for a worker to be on the premises at all times; or where the worker would face disciplinary action if they left the workplace. In these scenarios, the worker should be paid the national minimum wage for the time they are required to be at their workplace, even if they spend some of that time asleep.

To look at the BIS Guidance, click here.