Working Time Directive

An employee’s entitlement to holiday, and the pay he or she receives while taking holiday, has been a hot topic in the courts over the past few years.

In the case of Plumb v Duncan Print Group Ltd, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has returned to the topic of an employee’s entitlement to holiday while on sick leave.

In 2009, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in the cases of Stringer and Others v HM Revenue & Customs and Pereda v Madrid Movilidad established the following principles:

  • Workers who are off work on sick leave continue to accrue annual leave
  • Workers can take holiday during sick leave, however if they are unable or do not wish to do so, they can take it at a different time, even if this means carrying it over to the next holiday year

These decisions were all made under the EC Working Time Directive (“Directive”). However, they conflict with regulation 13(9) of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (“WTR”) which implements the Directive in the UK. Specifically, this provides that statutory annual leave must be taken in the same year in which it is accrued and cannot be carried over into the following leave year.


Continue Reading Holiday entitlement during sick leave – Where are we now?

Another decision has been handed down to clarify – or complicate – the position on which aspects of pay should be included when calculating an employee’s entitlement to holiday pay.

The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland (“CA”) has held that voluntary overtime is not necessarily excluded from the calculation of holiday pay for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as derived under the EU Working Time Directive).

The case of Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council held that it was a “question of fact” for each Tribunal to determine whether or not voluntary overtime was “normally” carried out by the employee. If so, it should be considered to be part of the employee’s “normal remuneration” and included when calculating holiday pay.

The case was remitted to the Tribunal to hear further evidence of the overtime actually worked by the employee within a suitable reference period. Once this is determined, the Tribunal will decide as a question of fact whether the voluntary overtime should be included in this particular case.

Continue Reading Should voluntary overtime be included when calculating holiday pay?