I work as a careworker, and one night a week, I sleep over in the service user's home. What should I get paid for my time when sleeping?

You must be paid for all the hours you are contracted to work. When you are required to sleep over in a service user’s home, you are still working. The fact that the work you are doing includes sleeping, or that you are rarely disturbed, does not stop it being 'work'!

Your rate of pay depends on your employment contract, but as a minimum, your employer must comply with National Minimum Wage laws. Your average basic hourly rate over your pay reference period, including time spent sleeping over at the service user’s home, must be at least the National Minimum Wage rate. Otherwise your employer will be breaking the law.    

Your pay reference period is based on the pay arrangements where you work. It will be a day if you are paid daily, a week if you are paid weekly and a month if you are paid monthly.     

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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