BIS has published a very useful guide to help employers and their advisers work out when sleeping and travelling counts as paid time for the purposes of the national minimum wage: click here to view. 

Examples are given in the guidance of when sleeping will count as working and when it will not. The first includes someone who has to be at the workplace for statutory or health and safety reasons and will be disciplined if they are not on the premises; and the second, for example someone who is required to sleep in premises to prevent them being burgled but can come and go as they please.

The section on travelling is not as clear, as it states that time spent travelling between home and a training venue is not counted, but as some training venues may be far from the person’s home this could be difficult to justify.

The real difficulty, however, is with zero hours contracts. There is no definition of zero hours contracts apart from in the draft regulations on exclusivity, and so some may be employees, some may be workers, and some may be casual labour with no pattern of work. For most, however, there will be a discernible pattern of work and thus may be covered by the sleeping and travelling guidance.