Tomorrow, 0.01% of the world's population will wake up and no longer need to sleep. (Some of these Awakened people may then be incapable of sleeping any more, but that's incidental). To give a rough guide, that'll be about 32,000 people in the US, 6,500 in the UK, and about 750,000 people worldwide.
I've seen this page (The end of sleep), which has offered some helpful ideas about the economic impact if everyone didn't sleep any more, but I'm curious about the legal side if only a small fraction of people were Awakened.
The Awakened can get benefits similar to sleep from sedentary activity (reading, meditating, watching TV, even uneventful driving, etc.), so their immune systems aren't compromised, and their imagination still has time to play.
They don't lose concentration due to fatigue, so are capable of working much longer hours than the Unawakened — although they may not want to.
It can affect all ages, from babies to nonogenarians and beyond.
Basically, I'm wondering would different laws need to apply to the Awakened? Should they be expected to work for 12-16hrs as their norm, or would they still be bound to the traditional 8hr workday? How about weekends? Should they be given a higher salary to compensate for the extra food/electricity/materials they'll consume if they're awake for longer? Would society legislate to make them take on certain roles, for the benefit of society?
Any ideas about whether changing the legal system would be welcome.
The reason I'm asking about legality is I'm wondering whether they'd have their own version of the Equality Act. Companies (at least in the UK) aren't allowed to discriminate according to race/gender/sexuality/disability/etc. - so a company might not be allowed to specify "Only Awakened can apply" (or vice versa). Or, OTOH, if the Unawakened would somehow be expected to match up to what the Awakened can do. Would you effectively need to legislate for two different species, perhaps if the split was 50/50 in the population?