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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019

Sleepover duty is overtime, Labour Court recommends to care staff

Under the ruling, staff will be paid at least minimum wage for shifts.

Image: Care Staff via ckS

RESIDENTIAL CARE STAFF who are required to sleep over as part of their shifts will have to be paid at least the minimum wage, the Labour Court has recommened.

Previously, “sleepover duty” could see staff paid €5.38, but a ruling from the Labour Court today will see staff paid at least €8.65 an hour.

Unions representing care staff called the recommendation a “major breakthrough”.

IMPACT national secretary for health, Louise O’Donnell, said that the Court had upheld what the unions had been arguing for some time, ensuring that any employers found to be in breach of working time legislation would be held to account.

“The Court’s recommendation gives full recognition to the fact that sleepover duty is working time. That recognition is a huge breakthrough for our members because it was very strongly resisted by employers. This recommendation means that, from today, nobody can be paid less than the minimum wage for sleepover duty.

“This is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of our members working in these services, and we will be actively engaging with employers in this sector in order to ensure its full implementation.”

Paul Bell of Siptu said that the recommendation marked the conclusion of a “determined campaign” by all of the trade unions involved.

Willie Quigley of Unite trade union said that members had “fought long and hard for this kind of breakthrough”.

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