VODG calls for clarity on sleep in payments

September 4, 2018

Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) is once again urging Government to provide clarity on sleep in payments as Parliament returns this week.

In the last month, Unison has appealed the judgement on the Royal Mencap Society vs Tomlinson-Blake case and HMRC has issued further guidance on sleep in payments without official guidance from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Chair of VODG, Steve Scown has called for urgent action. He says, 'It is over seven weeks since the Court of Appeal judgement was handed down. Radio silence from Government is unacceptable. The continued uncertainty, for both social care staff and providers, helps no-one.

'As Parliament returns this week we are taking the opportunity to remind Government that the time has come to make urgent and important decisions about the future of sleep in support. Government must to be very clear on what changes it is proposing about sleep in shift work ahead of wider consultation.'

VODG has set out its concerns that, without clarity on sleep in payments from government:

  • Local care markets may move in unpredictable ways, risking overnight support services for disabled people and their carers.
  • There could be a reduction of investment in future services, such as the challenges associated with delivering transforming care and moving people out of long-stay hospitals.
  • Providers might continue to seek legal advice, spending money which could be used elsewhere.

The sector is still waiting to hear whether Unison will be granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court, with an announcement hoped for before the end of the year.

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Stephen Stone
Stephen Stone

Why is UNISON, of all organizations, hell-bent upon removing jobs from thousands of people who (their families too) plainly benefit greatly from them being able to sleep on-call and enjoy their day-times free for normal living and working? Surely, employers finding they have to pay the ‘awake and working’ hourly rate will, instead, employ people who are awake and working and who then must sleep during the day-times?