In Hughes v G and L Jones t/a Graylyns Residential Home, Mrs Hughes worked as a part-time care assistant and was paid £5.05 for an eight hour week although she was expected to be on call (she paid a reduced rent for a flat on site) between 9pm and 8am, 7 days a week. When she was given notice to quit her flat, Mrs Hughes brought claims for constructive unfair dismissal and breach of the Working Time Regulations and National Minimum Wage. She asserted that she was not paid for rest periods having worked at least 6 hours and that she was not provided with a rest period of at least 24 hours in any 7-day period.
The respondents argued that Mrs Hughes only worked when she was on call and actually called out, for which she was paid separately. The number of call-outs was minimal. The EAT agreed with Mrs Hughes that she was entitled to be regarded as working when on call whether or not she was called out and she was entitled to rest breaks having been on call for 6 hours.
As the EAT pointed out, there may be practical difficulties, if not absurdities, in the suggestion that a person who is at home sleeping but on call, is entitled after 6 hours to be woken up and given a rest break. However, for the purpose of the National Minimum Wage Regulations, she was available at her place of work to do salaried hours work and was required to be available to do those hours. The EAT remitted the case to tribunal to determine quantification and remedy.