Ask Sheila England

Sheila will try to answer as many of your English Social Care questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.

18th August 2020

Can a care worker be required to do a sleep in with no notice?

I work in care and do sleep-ins on a rota basis. We have a rota for 3 months in advance. I have turned up to shifts and been told that on my days where I have no sleep-ins, that I am having to sleep that night with no notice. I am not informed until I get on shift. Is this allowed by the company to change my shift on the day, with no notice?

Dear D,

Thank you for your question . Whilst it is not unreasonable to ask if you can cover at short notice, the practice of turning up and being told you are on a sleep -over is unreasonable. It doesn’t take into account any other commitments you may have such as family and whether you are getting sufficient rest between shifts. It would be helpful to understand why they are doing this given that rotas are completed 3 months in advance and I wonder if this is a new issue during COVID due to staff shortages. . I would suggest you have a look at what your contract and staff handbook says about rota management. Then, if you can, have a chat with your line manager and explain what the issue is. If you feel it isn’t going to be resolved you can raise a grievance in line with your company’s Grievance policy. If you need some external advice ACAS have a free helpline  0300 123 1100 or Citizens Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/ if you aren’t in a Union. I do hope you manage to get this sorted out.


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.


What would you like to ask Sheila?

Sheila Scott OBE from National Care Association (NCA). Care is Sheila’s life; she possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business and as a leader in the care sector.

Sheila will try to answer as many of your questions as possible, giving priority to frequently asked questions and questions regarding current events and trends.

Please note that Sheila can not offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC.








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