On-call staff win tribunal pay ruling

Councils might have to find thousands of extra pounds to pay staff
who spend time on call, following a landmark tribunal decision.

Nine wardens worked a basic 37-hour week in sheltered accommodation
units but were on call for another 76 hours. While on standby the
wardens could not leave their accommodation even to go shopping,
and as a result felt isolated and had no social life.

The tribunal ruled that their employer, Harrow Council, failed to
give them proper daily rest and pay them in line with the national
minimum wage for the time on call.

The tribunal awarded £1,500 to each of the wardens in
compensation for the council’s breach of the Working Time
Regulations. The wardens, all women, are awaiting agreement on
their back pay for the unpaid hours worked over the years.

The council is considering whether to appeal.

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