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Unison appeals to Supreme Court over sleep-in shift payments

Following last month’s decision at the Court of Appeal to overturn the sleep-in shift ruling Unison, the trade union acting on behalf of care worker Claire Tomlinson-Blake, has now lodged an official appeal to the Supreme Court.

Following the Court of Appeal ruling, specialist care providers now face a further period of uncertainty as the Supreme Court might take eight weeks or more to decide on whether to grant permission for the appeal to be heard.

The Court of Appeal ruling meant the £400m allegedly owed to care workers who had been deemed to be underpaid for overnight shifts is no longer considered to be due under current legislation – a decision that could now be under threat if leave to appeal is granted and the case is considered by the Supreme Court.

Matthew Wort, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, said Unison’s appeal to the Supreme Court was to be expected given the importance of the issue to their members.

“I would anticipate the Supreme Court granting permission to proceed to a hearing,” said Mr Wort.

“We hope commissioners of sleep-in care will maintain payments to providers which enable them to continue their current pay practice for sleep-ins, pending further news from the Supreme Court.

“It is likely that HMRC will provide an update on the Social Care Compliance Scheme to providers in the scheme by the 17th August. We expect HMRC will want to wait until the Supreme Court have decided whether to grant leave to appeal before deciding their next steps.”

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