Securing the future of overnight ‘sleep in’ support

VODG has been campaigning on the issue of sleep in payments for many years, repeatedly calling on the government to resolve the inconsistent and confusing way in which overnight support – where staff sleep through the night but are on site to respond to requests for care if needed – is paid and funded.

On Friday 19 March 2021, the Supreme Court upheld a 2018 Court of Appeal decision that ruled workers on sleep in shifts should only be paid for the time they are awake and supporting people who use services.

The judgment ended a legal process that began in 2016, and while it provides some welcome clarity to this issue, the practice surrounding the payment of sleep in shifts is not consistent across organisations and rates of pay are inequitable across the country.

Following the judgment, VODG continues to campaign on this issue, calling on the government to instruct the Low Pay Commission to consult, review and recommend a rate for time spent asleep.

We also remain committed to ensuring that:

  • the future of essential overnight services for people who rely on them are secured – with a sustainable market and workforce to support people at night.
  • the ongoing disruption and distraction on this issue ceases – through clear government action and guidance.
  • commissioners, providers and the workforce are clear on the future provision, and costs, for sleep in support – with detailed and consistent guidance.