Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

10th January 2018

Should Night Care Workers Be Paid For Breaks?

Sheila do night care workers have to be paid for breaks which they take whilst on duty at night? They would not be leaving the building and are provided with food.


Dear T,


Thank you for your question.


The first place to look is the contract of employment. What does that say?


I asked Chris King an Employment Law Specialist from the Employment team based at Napthens’ East Lancashire office and this is what he said:


"If there is an occupational and/or regulatory requirement which prevents these employees from leaving the building when on breaks then they should be paid for those. If they are free to come and go as they please on breaks then the client can choose whether or not to pay them for breaks."


This piece of advice does, I believe, reflect decisions that have recently been made about "sleep-ins" where it was decided that if the person sleeping in could not leave the building then they should be paid for the time they were required to be in the building.


Best wishes,



*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of 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.

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