Charities flouting law on minimum wage
Written by Andrew Holt
A number of charities are believed to be flouting the law by not paying the National Minimum Wage (NMW) when staff 'sleep-over', Unite, the largest union in the country, has said.
Unite, which has 60,000 members in the Not for Profit sector, said many members are required to work shifts which incorporate a residential element, often known as 'sleep-ins'.
If, during sleep-in time, a member is working or at the employer's disposal, i.e. available to work should an emergency occur or work has to be carried out, this will constitute working time for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations 1998.
Rachael Maskell, national officer, Not for Profit Sector, said: "Some employers continue to ignore this, despite the case law that clearly sets out the position.
"Members who are working such shifts are entitled to receive the NMW, currently £5.80 an hour - if the employer is not paying the NMW a claim for unlawful deduction of wages can be brought."
She gave an example of a Scottish mental health charity which paid an allowance for sleeping over, but if staff had to wake-up and deal with residents, they were not paid, but offered time off in lieu instead.
"This is clearly unacceptable and flouting the law. We believe that a number of the more than 170,000 UK charities are copying the poor practices of this Glasgow-based mental health charity."
Unite is also concerned about the amount of rest breaks its members are entitled to - a worker has to have 11 consecutive hours rest in every 24 hours.
To alert its members, the union has published a briefing this month on residential work and urged abuses to be reported to Unite's regional officers.
December feature: Ideal partner
Use of money tops public concerns with charity
New Charity Commission board member announced
Big Society has failed – think tank
Almost half of charity trustees see ‘skill gaps’ on their board - survey
Children’s suggestions influence parents’ charity participation - survey
New charity award expanded to serve North of England
Online donations fall in late 2014
Trustees came under the spotlight last year because of their reluctance to defend
the salaries of their chief executives. The sector has since offered trustees opportunities to learn from the experience. It is an opportunity they must take, argues Andrew Holt
Tris Lumley takes the reader on an in-depth journey analysing impact
leadership, arguing that impact starts with leadership
Andrew Holt searches through the maze that is the Big Society for meaningJune/July 2013 Cover Story: Testing times, big opportunities
Contrasting sector evidence suggests the fundraising environment is tougher than it has ever been while other data suggests it is indeed tough but equally ripe with opportunity. Hugh Wilson unravels the debate