A FOREST law firm is warning care homes to pay their workers while they sleep or end up in court.

New rules say workers should be paid the minimum wage, even when they are asleep.

The advice, from Ringwood-based Ellis Jones, comes after the case of a senior care worker who worked a day shift and a sleeping shift from 9pm to 7am, for which she was paid £25, just £2.50 per hour.

Her case was that she was entitled to be paid national minimum wage for the time spent at the employer’s premises.

She succeeded and was awarded more than £15,000.

Associate solicitor Kate Brooks said: “This will be hard-hitting for care home owners in particular.

“We would urge them to review payment of their night workers as soon as possible and deal with any outstanding payments for national minimum wage in order to avoid costly tribunal actions.”