Opalkova v Acquire Care Ltd (Unlawful Deduction From Wages - National Minimum Wage) [2021] UKEAT 0209_20_0605

Appeal against the rejection of claims of unlawful deductions. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant was employed by the Respondent to provide home-based care to its clients. She claimed that she was entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage in respect of her time spent attending induction training. The ET, relying upon regulation 33 of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015, and its conclusions that the Claimant was not employed by the Respondent at that time, and would not have been permitted to carrying out caring duties until she had completed the training, dismissed this claim. The ET also dismissed a claim of unlawful deductions: the Respondent had deducted tax and NI from money it paid to have the Claimant's car taxed and insured.

The EAT allowed the appeal on the first ground but rejected the second. The ET erred because it failed to consider (a) whether the Claimant had entered a contract with the Respondent at the relevant time under which she was a worker within the meaning of section 54 National Minimum Wage Act 1998; and, if so, (b) whether her attendance at this induction training fell, in all the circumstances of the case, to be treated as work, having regarding to all the relevant provisions of the 2015 regulations, not just regulation 33. The appeal relating to unlawful deductions failed: the Respondent had to, by law, deduct tax and NI in relation to payments it had made on her behalf as they were benefits in kind.


Published: 22/07/2021 16:20

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