Unite members, who have been short changed by over a half of their holiday pay, have won a ground breaking Employment Appeal Tribunal which means all UK employers now need to include overtime pay when calculating workers’ holiday pay.

Major implications

The case brought by Britain’s largest union, Unite, against Amec and Hertel could lead to pay outs worth thousands of pounds and paves the way for similar cases after the appeal tribunal ruled that people obliged to work overtime should have overtime pay and other bonuses and allowances included in their holiday pay.

The 16 Unite members, a mix of electricians, scaffolders and other operatives, worked on a project at the West Burton power station site in Nottinghamshire until it came to an end in 2012.

During that time they were consistently required to work overtime and received payments for travel time. Payments for that work weren’t included in holiday pay, meaning that the workers received considerably less pay when on holiday, compared to when they were working.

The ruling follows an appeal by Amec and Hertel over an earlier Employment Tribunal decision in February which found in favour of the workers and recent decisions by the European Court that workers should receive normal pay when on holiday.

Workers wrongly being penalised

Unite executive director for legal, membership and affiliated services Howard Beckett said: “Up until now some workers, who are required to do overtime have been penalised for taking the time off they are entitled to. This ruling not only secures justice for our members who were short changed, but means employers have got to get their house in order.

“Employers will now have to include overtime in calculating holiday pay, and those that don’t should be under no illusion that Unite will fight to ensure that our members receive their full entitlement.

Thompsons provided expert advice and representation to members

“Once again Unite Legal Services is leading the challenge to employers and demonstrating to all workers that to receive justice in the workplace you must be in a trade union.

“Unite would like to place on record our thanks to Thompsons Solicitors for the advice and representation given to our members in this matter. Thompsons stand shoulder to shoulder with the trade union movement and have once again shown themselves to be experts in their field.