Holiday Pay

The Supreme Court has helped clear up any confusion for employers who employ ‘part-year workers’. That is, those where staff have periods where they do not work but are paid on a year-round contract. E.g. those who only work in term times on variable hours paid on an annual rate, and who have to take their 5.6 weeks annual leave during the school holidays. 

The worker in question was a music teacher but this may apply to those who employ teachers, nursery workers, cleaners and other staff tied to term times, or indeed, other variable working patterns. 
In Harper Trust  v Brazel the Respondent changed their method of calculating holiday pay, opting to move to a new system by which she received 12.07% of her termly pay as holiday pay. The previous version, which was more in the Claimant’s favour, was to take an average of the previous 12 weeks’ earnings multiplied by 5.6 weeks. 

The Claimant initially lost her unlawful deduction from wages claim at the Tribunal, although that was then overturned by the EAT. The Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court, agreed with the EAT.

The Supreme Court indicated that a calculation of weekly pay for a part-year worker is that which is laid down by s.224 Employment Rights Act 1996, where the weekly pay amount is calculated by taking the previous 12 weeks of earnings (ignoring any at zero).

Posted on 8 September, 2022 by Ortolan

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