Key victory for UNISON at Tribunal: Voluntary overtime counts towards holiday pay26 February 2016
Tribunal orders £1,830 payment to hospital worker
Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust has been ordered by an Employment Tribunal to pay £1,830 to a UNISON member who did not receive the holiday pay they were legally entitled to.
The Perioperative Practitioner from Wakefield regularly put in overtime hours voluntarily to cover gaps in staffing arrangements or colleagues’ absences.
Between 1 April 2014 and 31 May 2015, he wasn’t paid £1,830 holiday pay he argued he was entitled to as a result of working an average of 39 extra hours each month.
The Tribunal ruled that his voluntary overtime should be included in his holiday pay calculation because the hours he worked were regular, as opposed to ad hoc additional shifts.
The hospital worker contacted his union, UNISON, who instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue the matter on his behalf.
The UNISON member said: “There’s an expectation that NHS staff will do these shifts to make sure there are no disruptions to the service. If I hadn’t worked the additional shifts there’s a risk that Operating Theatre lists would have been cancelled and I didn’t want to let patients down.
“I was happy to work overtime because of the short staffing levels, but, in return, I expected to have my work recognised and reflected in my pay. I am grateful to UNISON and Thompsons for securing the pay I was due.”
John Cafferty, regional secretary of UNISON said: “Our member clearly suffered loss of earnings as a result of working overtime that was essentially compulsory.”
Haylee Chambers, employment law solicitor at Thompsons said: “This decision follows one in August 2015 when voluntary overtime was recognised as counting towards a workers’ holiday pay calculation in local government. Here the Employment Tribunal has ruled in favour of a worker in the health sector. We worked with UNISON in both ground breaking cases. It is high time that employees who put in the hours got the financial recognition they deserve.
“We know the NHS is under threat from government cuts, but it is vital that workers are paid fairly for their work and hospital management should take note of this decision.”