Howat Avraam Nightshift Workers

Do night-shift workers engage in “time-work” when they are required to sleep at an employer’s premises?

This rather vexed question was recently considered by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in three joined appeals (Focus Care Agency Ltd v Roberts UKET/0143/16/DM, Frudd & anor v The Partington Group Ltd UKET/0244/16/DM and Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake UKET/0290/16/DM).

The key issue was whether the individuals were working the entire shift, both asleep and awake, or whether they were only working when awake to carry out duties. The EAT came to the rather frustrating conclusion that it all comes down to the facts but did provide some guidance on how to reach a conclusion.

Niki Avraam, Employment Partner comments: According to the EAT, four key factors will be taken into account when deciding on whether or not sleep is work.  These are: (1) the particular purpose of engaging the worker; (2) the extent to which the worker’s activities are restricted by the requirement to be present; (3) the degree of responsibility undertaken by the worker and the types of activities they may perform; and (iv) the immediacy of the requirement for the worker to provide services.


Howat Avraam Solicitors provide Commercial, Employment and Contract Dispute advice to companies and business owners.  As business owners ourselves, we have a pragmatic in-house approach to resolving issues before they arise by working alongside our clients.  We are commercial, practical and entrepreneurial in our approach to legal services.

To discuss any employment matter on a no obligation basis, please contact Niki Avraam, Employment Partner, on 020 3735 6708 or email Niki at Alternatively, visit our website at

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