Care England Granted Right to Intervene in Court of Appeal Sleep-in Shift Case

The UK’s care sector has been thrown a lifeline as Care England, the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care, has won the right to intervene in the Court of Appeal’s sleep-in-shift case - with the hope of solving the impending £400million financial crisis for care providers.  

With the hearing set for 20-21 March this year, law firm Anthony Collins Solicitors are acting for Care England, with the body given the opportunity to pursue new arguments not yet considered in the Royal Mencap Society vs Tomlinson-Blake Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) case to date.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive at Care England, which has 160 members providing over 3,500 care services, said:

“I cannot stress the magnitude of this opportunity for our members and the care industry as a whole. If the existing decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal is upheld it would be a watershed moment for the sector, with profound affects for the viability of residential domiciliary and supported care which supports 1.2 million vulnerable people across the country.

“We argue for a comprehensible, predictable, and workable interpretation of the sleep-in-shift regulations that do not give rise to the potentially crippling multi-million pound consequences for the sector. They should enable providers and their workers to deliver the best care possible.” 

The Mencap vs Tomlinson-Blake EAT ruling found care providers such as the Royal Mencap Society must pay the National Minumum Wage (NMW) throughout a sleep-in-shift, triggering a £400million industry back payment and £200milliion increase in yearly costs from 2020 onwards.  The Government has established a Social Care Compliance Scheme to ensure back pay is paid and the Government receive the related tax revenue.  A successful appeal would call into question the need for the SCCS scheme.

Matthew Wort, Partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, added:

“Surveys have shown that, in practice, on average only 1% of time in sleep-in-shifts is spent working.”

“The intervention by Care England introduces  other arguments that have not been considered in the case to date. The intention of Parliament from the introduction of the National Minimum Wage Regulations was always that people carrying out sleep-ins would only be paid when they are awake and working and we are hopeful that the Court of Appeal will be persuaded to interpret the legislation in that way”.


Notes to editors:

  1. Care England is the largest representative body for independent providers of adult social care
  2. Care England works to ensure that care services are commissioned fairly, efficiently and on a properly funded basis, to meet the true costs of providing quality care.  A Care England survey in July 2017 noted that 45% of providers are projecting to take on less Local Authority placements over the next 3 years due to low rates being paid by councils
  3. For Care England press enquiries related to this release, please contact Antonella Corby (020) 7492 4843 or email or visit
  4. Founded in Birmingham in 1973 by Anthony Collins, with the aim of establishing a law firm to serve individuals and the community, Anthony Collins Solicitors has a clear purpose to improve lives, communities and society.  The firm provides those working to improve society with practical long-term solutions. Its team of experts are passionate advocates for positive social change that supports and protects the vulnerable. 
  5. With a turnover of £16.6m, Anthony Collins Solicitors is nationally recognised as delivering accessible and pragmatic legal advice to its specialist sectors of Health and Social Care, Education, Housing, Charities, Local Government, Social Business and legal services for individuals. 
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  7. Media information: For more information, contact Tom Bradshaw-Smith at Story Comms Email:   Tel: 0330 120 0287