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9
Aug 17

Posted by
Lauren Conway

Employers must now include voluntary overtime when calculating holiday pay

A landmark legal victory for Unite union means that employers must now include normal voluntary overtime when they are calculating holiday pay. The ruling is of major significance to workers who receive payments for working voluntary overtime but these payments are not reflected in their holiday pay. The union says that the ruling has set a legally binding precedent which employment tribunals across the UK are obliged to follow.

The Case

The case against Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council was brought by 56 council employees who worked on maintaining Dudley’s housing stock as electricians, carpenters, and plumbers. The employees worked regular voluntary overtime, beyond their fixed contractual hours, including Saturdays and they also elected to go on a standby rota every four weeks, to deal with emergency call-outs and repairs. The loss of earnings from holiday pay underpayments varied between £350 and £1,500 a year depending on each worker and how much voluntary overtime they carried out.
The decision by the employment appeal tribunal is the first to confirm that payments for entirely voluntary duties, such as voluntary overtime, standby, call-out work and travel-time linked to that work, should be included in the calculation of workers holiday pay.

Learning Points for Employers

The area of whether overtime should be included in employees holiday pay is a hot topic. This ruling echoes that of Fulton & Baxter v Bear Scotland Ltd when the ET found that overtime and other payments should have been included in the calculation of holiday pay.

Employers who do not pay employees normal voluntary overtime as part of their holiday pay are urged to reconsider this and make a change otherwise they might see themselves in hot water if a case were brought against them.

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Posted in Annual Leave, Company handbook, Contract of employment, Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Employment Contract, Employment Tribunals, Employment Update, Pay/Wage, Staff Handbook, Wages

29
Jun 17

Posted by
Lauren Conway

Should holiday pay include overtime and commission?

With the unusually high temperatures we have gotten recently in Britain we can agree that summer is officially here. While that is great news for most, especially for employees packing their bags and getting ready for their summer holidays, it leaves employers with the headache of calculating annual leave entitlements. The areas of whether holiday pay should include commission and overtime have been hot topics of late.

Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd

Mr. Lock claimed that British Gas had calculated his holiday pay incorrectly by not including a commission element. Mr. Lock was employed by British Gas as a sales consultant and receives a basic salary plus commission based on the sales he achieves. During a period of annual leave, Lock saw his income was reduced as he was paid only his basic salary and not commission as he was not making sales during his holiday. The Employment Tribunal found that Mr. Lock’s holiday pay should include an amount to reflect the commission that he would have otherwise earned had he not taken annual leave. They found that by penalizing an employee’s holiday pay might discourage them from taking annual leave for the fact that they would not be able to make sales and earn commission during that period.

Fulton & Baxter v Bear Scotland Ltd

Fulton and Baxter (the claimants) claimed that Bear Scotland Ltd (the respondent) made unauthorized deductions from their wages when overtime and other payments had not been included in the calculation of their annual leave pay. The ET found that by omitting these additional payments from its annual leave calculations, the respondent had indeed made unauthorized deductions from the claimant’s wages.

Learning Points

These recent rulings indicate a new perspective on what is deemed to be fair in relation to the calculation of leave entitlements. In light of these cases, employers across the board are reviewing how they calculate holiday pay. The current position is that, if there is a fundamental link between commission received and the performance of tasks, the commission should be included in the calculation of holiday pay. Therefore, where an employee would have earned commission during the leave period had they worked, it should be included when calculating holiday pay.

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Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks

Posted in Annual Leave, Company handbook, Contract of employment, Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Pay/Wage, Wages

4
Jun 14

Posted by
Laura Murphy

Changes to Holiday Pay Calculations

As we enter the summer holiday season employers need to ensure that they are paying their employees correctly during annual leave.

A recent decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) will impact how some annual leave pay is calculated.
Do you pay employee’s commission? Is the commission calculated based on the amount of sales made or actual work carried out? If yes, according to the ECJ, holiday pay should include commission pay.

The decision was made in the case of Locke v British Gas Trading and Others. Locke was a Sales Representative whose commission made up approximately 60% of his remuneration. After taking two weeks leave in 2011, Locke suffered financially as he was unable to generate sales for the period he was on annual leave.

The ECJ ruled that the purpose of annual leave is to allow a worker to enjoy a period of rest and relaxation with sufficient pay. By not including commission payments with holiday pay, employees are less likely to take annual leave so as to avoid financial hardship.

It has been left to the national courts to determine how to calculate the commission to which a worker is entitled, however the court did suggest that taking an average amount of commission earned over a certain period, e.g. the previous 12 months.

Employers are advised to review their commission policies to establish which, if any, payments need to be included in annual leave pay.

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Posted in Annual Leave, Contract of employment, Employment Update, Pay/Wage

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