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National Minimum Wage: sleep-in shifts in the social care sector

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) enforces payment of the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and is currently investigating social care providers for underpayment of the NMW in respect of “sleep-in” shifts.


The government has recognised the difficulties posed to the sector by the cumulative financial liability for penalties and arrears of wages. As a result:


  • The financial penalties faced by employers found to have underpaid workers for “sleep-in” shifts will be waived in respect of arrears of pay resulting from shifts that took place before 26 July 2017.


  • The government is suspending enforcement activity in respect of “sleep-in” shifts until 2 October 2017. This will apply to HMRC investigations where there may be an underpayment in respect of such shifts and applies to employers in the social care sector only.