On call work and the minimum wage


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The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has considered whether wardens and receptionists who were on call from evening to early morning were carrying out "time work" in Frudd v Partington Group.

The claimants worked at a caravan site and were expected to be on-call after their shifts which finished between 4.30pm and 8pm until 8am the next morning. The claimants argued that as they were carrying out time work they were entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

The EAT held that they were entitled to be paid the NMW between the end of their shift and 10pm as their responsibilities included showing round prospective customers and welcoming late arrivals and so they were carrying out time work. However, they were not required to carry out that work after 10pm unless they were called out for an emergency for which they were paid. They were not entitled to be paid whilst on-call and were only working time work if they were called out.

Take note: The decision in Frudd accords with the Court of Appeal's decision in the Mencap case where it was held that employees undergoing sleep-in shifts are only entitled to the NMW when they are awake and carrying out duties. The Mencap case has been appealed and is due to be heard by the Supreme Court (probably in the first part of next year) so this position may be subject to change.

This article is taken from HR Law - May 2019.

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