August Employment Law Update

The Court of Appeal decides that sleep in workers are not entitled to the national minimum wage when asleep, and more employers have been named and shamed for failing to pay the minimum hourly rates to their staff.

In other case law, the Court of Appeal also confirmed the position of the ‘interim period’ between an employee’s dismissal and his successful appeal.

Court of Appeal rules in landmark ‘sleep in’ case

The Court of Appeal recently decided, in Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake, that workers who perform sleep in shifts are not entitled to national minimum wage (NMW) for the time spent asleep. The court based their decision on the distinction between being ‘available for work’ and ‘actually working’.

The ruling goes against previous government guidance and case law and may require HMRC to rethink its current NMW enforcement strategy.

HMRC continues to crack down on National Minimum Wage offenders

The latest list of NMW offenders released by the Government shows that minimum wage underpayment is continuing to take place on an industrial scale.  The figures show that this is not an issue exclusive to any particular sector but rather exists across numerous different working environments.  

No automatic freedom of movement for EU workers after Brexit

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has announced that there are no plans for EU citizens to possess an automatic right to work in the UK after Brexit.

If the plans materialise, freedom of movement will cease to exist after the implementation period, something which further threatens the potential availability of unskilled EU labour in the years after Brexit.

Case law

In Patel v Folkestone Nursing Home, the Court of Appeal reinforced the notion that successful appeal of a dismissal means that the employee’s dismissal is considered to have ‘vanished’. 

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