National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage - calculating minimum wage pay

Minimum wage working hours - sleeping between duties

Guide

You may allow workers who are performing time work to sleep at or near their place of work and provide them with sleeping facilities.

They are not entitled to the minimum wage while they are on standby or on call and are asleep or entitled to sleep.

However, you must pay them the minimum wage in respect of any time during which they are awake for working.

You do not have to pay a worker the minimum wage for time when a worker can sleep and is not working. However, if they have to get up and work, the time spent awake when they are getting ready for work and working is time for which the minimum wage.

If you provide sleeping facilities make sure your arrangement clearly sets out when the worker can sleep. If your arrangement does not clearly specify any sleeping time, it is likely you will have to pay the minimum wage for the full time when the worker is at the workplace - including time when they are asleep.

Each case may be different. If you are unsure about the arrangements you have in relation to the minimum wage you can contact the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100.

Example scenario: on-site sleeping arrangements

You employ a care assistant (who is doing time work) at a residential care home and give them on-site sleeping accommodation. They are required to work five days per week, 24 hours on-site. They can rest during the hours of 20:00 - 08:00 unless required to care for a resident. While working their 24-hour shift they must remain on the premises.

You must pay the worker at least the minimum wage for the period 08:00 - 20:00 and for any additional time worked in the hours 20:00 - 08:00.

If the worker is required to attend to a resident during their rest time, you must pay them at least the minimum wage for the period they are awake for working purposes - for example this includes time they spend getting dressed to prepare for work. If they are attending to a resident during the night and are awake from 02:00 to 03:00 for this purpose, they are entitled to the minimum wage.

However, if their contract states they are employed five days per week, 24 hours on-site without specifying the periods when they are entitled to sleep, while working a 24-hour shift they must remain on the premises.

The whole of these 120 hours are included in their basic hours. They are entitled to the minimum wage for the whole of the 24 hour shift as they are at work for the whole of the period that they are on site.