Securing the future of overnight ‘sleep in’ support

VODG has been campaigning on the issue of sleep in payments for many years.

We have repeatedly called 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.

The current situation fails to fully recognise the contribution that staff make to improving people’s lives.

The latest impasse on sleep in payments relates to a Court of Appeal judgment last year (in the joined cases of Mencap v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad in July 2018) that overturned a previous decision. The latest judgment meant that sleep in workers do not have to be paid the national minimum wage throughout the night. However, this could change since Unison was granted a Supreme Court application to challenge the Court of Appeal judgment. The Supreme Court hearing took place over two days in February 2020 and we are now awaiting the judgment.

VODG is 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.

We will post a VODG position statement and media brief on this issue once the Supreme Court judgment has been handed down.