Cheshire East 'sleep-in' care staff to get pay boost

Cheshire East Council headquarters Image copyright Google
Image caption Cheshire East Council initially denied breaching minimum wage legislation

Dozens of council-employed care staff will get a pay boost after a leaked report revealed they were being paid below the minimum wage.

Cheshire East Council denied breaching wage legislation in May after the report found some carers on "sleep-in" shifts had been paid as little as £34 for ten hours' work.

However, the council has now decided to backdate an increase for two years.

The decision came in response to a ruling against another care provider.

"Sleep-in" shifts are where a worker is allowed to sleep while providing care in a person's own home, providing they can be woken to deal with any incidents.

'Paid fairly'

According to minimum wage legislation, employers must take into account shifts where staff are allowed to sleep, as long as they are "at work and under certain work-related responsibilities".

The report, which was written by a senior HR officer in 2016, warned the average monthly pay of some staff who had worked such shifts was likely to have fallen below the minimum wage.

It stated the shifts were paid at a lower rate than other duties and, in some cases, the pay was low as £34 for ten hours' work.

In July, HMRC ruled carers on such shifts should be paid the national minimum wage for all hours.

Cheshire East's Paul Findlow said the council "respect and value all our employees" and wanted to ensure they are "paid fairly" for their work.

He said the authrority had now "undertaken an extensive review to establish exactly who this ruling affects and how much each individual is owed".

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