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Sleep-ins Supreme Court appeals dismissed: CPA calls for urgent implementation of a Social Care People Plan

19 March 2021

In Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson Blake, and Shannon v Rampersad, the Supreme Court has today, 19 March 2021, dismissed both cases in relation to pay during sleep-ins.

The Supreme Court has ruled that care workers who have to sleep at their workplace in case they are needed overnight are not entitled to the minimum wage for their whole shift. They are only entitled to the minimum wage when they are required to be awake for work – and not while asleep.

Responding to the decision, Kathy Roberts, Chair of the Care Provider Alliance which represents over half of the social care sector employees through its ten trade associations, said:

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling brings legal clarity – but the wider issue of fair pay for care workers has not gone away.”

“Unlike many other businesses, staffing costs make up more than 70% of the total budget for services we provide to people in our communities. Existing levels of funding from central government to support our workforce are widely understood to be insufficient and unsustainable.”

“Sir Andrew Dilnot commented in Oct 2020 that “for social care, we have had 20 years of promises but inaction’ alongside the main recommendations in the latest  Health and Social Care Committee’s report for the Government to invest £7bn more per year in Adult Social care provision.”

“So, regardless of today’s ruling, we must not lose sight of the need for a longer-term solution for all people who work in social care.

“This is why the Care Provider Alliance is calling for a long-term, sufficiently resourced, Social Care People Plan.”

Notes to editors§

The social care sector employs 1.52m colleagues working across communities yet there is a 30% staff turnover rate with 112,000 vacancies. (Source: The State of the Adult social Care sector and workforce in England - October 2020; Skills for Care) 

The whole of our adult social care system is an essential part of a healthy society and needs to be valued and treated as such. In addition to providing meaningful care and support to a wide range of people, the adult social care sector is estimated to contribute £41.2 billion per annum to the economy in England. The total wage bill for the sector, accounted for around half of this amount at £22.2 billion in 2019/20 (up 2% from 2018/19). (Source: The State of the Adult social Care sector and workforce in England - October 2020; Skills for Care)

About the Care Provider Alliance§

The Care Provider Alliance (CPA) brings together the 10 main national associations, which represent independent and voluntary adult social care providers in England.  We work to represent the sector and ensure a coordinated response to the major issues that affect it.

The CPA bring together the ten national associations, which represent private, voluntary and community sector providers. We speak for the whole of the adult social care sector including care homes, home care services, Shared Lives schemes and retirement communities.

CPA members cover almost 10,000 organisations, employ over 600,000 staff and support an estimated 1 million people.

For more information visit Care Provider Alliance – About us.

Media contact: Care Provider Alliance,