Holiday, Celebrate! (maybe not if you are an employer)
You may have seen the extensive coverage on several court cases recently where employees have claimed that they are entitled to extra holiday pay where they have worked regular overtime. The cases are going to a higher Court for appeal, but its worthwhile considering how the outcome will affect employers.
Its fairly clear that the extra holiday entitlement will only apply where overtime is intrinsically linked to the employee’s role. For example, one of the cases involved road repair teams who could only close roads to work on them overnight or at weekends. It would not include unusual or special duties.
It is unclear whether voluntary overtime would be included even if it is worked regularly.
Can employees apply for extra holiday retrospectively? Fortunately, it appears that a limit will apply to the current holiday year, and may be even less. The judge in the case set out a rather complicated scenario, but the net result is that in reality the extra claim must be made within 3 months of the overtime worked.
Employers should be looking at employment contracts, especially where workers do lots of habitual overtime, such as farm workers at harvest time, and see what exposure they would have to extra holiday pay.
It is hoped that the Government may intervene and put something into statute to clarify the situation for everyone, as the uncertainty of these cases going to appeal has created a great deal of confusion for both employers and employees as to their entitlements.