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The Guardian quotes Nick Hurley on the recent Supreme Court holiday pay ruling

Yesterday, the UK’s Supreme Court ruled that a visiting music teacher on a zero hours contract should be entitled to the same holiday benefits as her full-time colleagues.

The landmark ruling is set to open the door to claims from hundreds of thousands of part-time and casual workers for the same holiday pay as their colleagues working full time.

Nick Hurley, Partner and Head of Employment, provides comment for City AM, The Guardian, People Management and Schools Week on the judgment.

His full comment is below:

"The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal and upheld the decisions of the EAT and Court of Appeal.  This will have a significant impact on those who work part-year/term time only under a permanent contract and any other arrangement such as zero hours employees/workers or casual workers who have an umbrella contract arrangement in place when they are not working.   It will make holiday pay much more expensive for employers who have this type of arrangement and is most likely to affect those in the education sector.   Although this effectively can result in a “windfall” for the particular workers – these do tend to be those who are lower paid and don’t have regular guaranteed hours.  It is one of the few examples of a situation where a part time worker is treated more favourably than a full time worker and currently there is no legislation that prohibits this.   

This could open the floodgates for other part-year permanent workers who have had their holiday calculated incorrectly to bring claims for unlawful deductions from wages for any difference in what they have been paid and what they should have received although there is a two year backstop on these claims. 

One possible result is that employers may try to reduce holiday pay by engaging these workers on a zero hours or casual workers contract for short periods of time with no umbrella contract or permanent contract in place for the periods not worked so that they calculate holiday pay on the 12.07% basis."

Media coverage:

City AM, Schools Week, People Management, The Guardian

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