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Case law: Tribunal clarifies when employees on call are entitled to the minimum wage

Employers with employees on call should review what they are required to actually do at different times while on call, as this can affect whether or not they are treated as working in whole or in part during those periods and, therefore, affect their entitlement to the minimum wage, according to a recent ruling.

June 2019

This update was published in Legal Alert - June 2019

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

Spouses employed as wardens/receptionists at a caravan site worked shifts which finished at various times between 4.30pm and 8.00pm. They were then required to be on call after that for two or three days per week during holiday seasons. There were three periods during which they could be on call - evening, night or early morning. They were not required to be on call at all during the close season.

They claimed their time spent on call was working time for which they should be paid at least the national minimum wage. They were not required to sleep in, so existing case law governing workers on call was not applicable.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed that they were working during the period when their shifts ended at 10pm, as they had to be available to meet late arrivals and show potential campers around. However, it said that after 10pm they were only required to attend if there was an emergency, in which case they were paid only for attending.

They were therefore entitled to the national minimum wage until 10pm, but not after that.

Operative date

  • Now

Recommendation

  • Employers with employees on call should review what they are required to actually do at different times while on call, as this can affect whether or not they are treated as working in whole or in part during those periods, and entitled to the minimum wage - or not at all - according to a recent ruling.

Case ref: Frudd and another v The Partington Group Ltd UKEAT/0240/18/OO

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