Sleep-in care saga continues after Supreme Court grant appeal

Supreme Court grants Unison the right to appeal in £400m back-pay bill case.

Matthew Wort, Partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors

Care providers still aren’t free from the £400m back-pay bill, with the Supreme Court saying Unison can appeal in its sleep-in shift legal battle with Mencap.

And it could be October at the earliest before the case is heard.

It was the Court of Appeal that, in July last year, overturned a tribunal ruling social care staff should be paid the national living wage for sleep-in shifts.

Mencap, as well as intervening parties including Care England, sought a landmark ruling to reverse the decision on sleep-in shift back-pay that could have cost providers an estimated £400m – amid claims many would be pushed into collapse.

Yesterday (13th Feb) the Supreme Court granted Unison the right to appeal that Court of Appeal ruling.

Speaking after the Supreme Court ruling, Matthew Wort (pictured), partner at Anthony Collins Solicitorswho represented Care England in its intervention on the Mencap vs Tomlinson-Blake case at the Court of Appeal last year, said the decision “extended the uncertainty” for a care sector desperate for extra government investment.

He added: “The date for the Supreme Court hearing is yet to be announced, but it has confirmed to me today that it will not be until October 2019 at the very earliest.

“Care providers are in urgent need of both consistency and clarity about sleep-in pay, but sadly the wait for a definitive final position on the issue is many months away.

“In the meantime, we hope commissioners of sleep-in care will maintain payments to providers, enabling them to continue their current pay practice for sleep-ins.”

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