Increase in ‘Sleep-in’ NMW claims

employment law, HR support, staff breaks, working time regulations, statutory entitlement, time off

Recent case law has established that ‘sleep-in’s’ are covered by the National Minimum Wage Regulations.  So, if a worker is allowed to sleep at work, but required to stay at their workplace, then all their hours are covered by NMW regulations. This means that if a worker is on average, paid less than the National Minimum Wage over their pay reference period (which is the time over which they are normally paid), they will be entitled to a pay rise.  Please read our earlier blog for more on this decision here.

A worker who does not receive the NMW to which they are entitled may bring a claim, for an unlawful deduction from wages. Such claims must be brought in an employment tribunal, usually within three months of the date of the deduction, (that is, the failure to pay the NMW) or the last in a series of deductions. Previously there was no time limit on the arrears that could be claimed, provided it formed part of the same series of unlawful deductions. However, for claims issued on or after 1 July 2015, a two-year limit has been introduced, which means that a worker can only claim back pay for a maximum of two years.

In light of the recent case law on ‘sleep-in’s’ together with the removal of the requirement for claimants to pay an issue fee when bringing a claim, there has been, and will continue to be, an increase in such claims.

We are here to help! So, if your company needs help in dealing with the impact of the ‘sleep-in’ decision, or you are facing employment tribunal claims for back pay of NMW, please get in touch.

Call us today on 0115 870 01050 or email


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