Unison, acting on behalf of Tomlinson-Blake in the ongoing sleep-in shift legal battle with Mencap, has lodged an official application to appeal to the Supreme Court following Mencap’s victory at the Court of Appeal.
If the Supreme Court accepts the decision and grants leave to appeal, it will cause further uncertainty in a sector that had recently been given a shot in the arm – with the court hearing possibly in the latter half of 2019. The Supreme Court could take at least eight weeks to decide on whether to grant permission for the Unison 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.
Commenting on the Unison appeal, Matthew Wort, Partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors said, 'The Unison appeal to the Supreme Court was to be expected, given the importance of the issue to their members – and I would anticipate the Supreme Court granting permission to proceed to a hearing.
'Care providers throughout the UK will now face further uncertainty at a time when consistency and continuity of the law is greatly needed. 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 (SCCS) to providers in the scheme by 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.'