Working time and leave

Statutory holidays - use it or lose it?

Workers cannot be deprived of paid statutory holiday entitlement on the termination of employment or at the end of a particular reference period/authorised carry-over period unless the employer has ensured ‘specifically and transparently’ that the worker is given the opportunity to take the leave.

Holiday pay for those with irregular hours

A zero hours, term-time employee’s holiday pay should not have been capped at 12.07% of her annualised hours as suggested in ACAS guidance.

'On call' at home and whether working time

The nature of the restrictions that are placed on a worker will determine whether ‘on-call’ time qualifies as ‘working time’.

Detriment and injury to feelings awards

Injury to feelings compensation can be awarded in detriment claims under the Working Time Regulations.

20-minute rest break means a whole 20 minutes

The right to a rest break under the Working Time Regulations is the right to an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes. An employer cannot meet this statutory requirement by aggregating breaks of a shorter duration

Enforcement of paid annual leave under Working Time Regulations is defective

The means of enforcing rights to paid holiday in the Working Time Regulations is incompatible with EU law according to the European Court of Justice. Employers must give workers the facility to take paid holiday, workers do not have to take holiday to be able to claim payment for it, refusal to pay is considered as ‘prevention’ and workers can claim unpaid holiday for the whole of their employment or up to the date when paid holiday was offered, whichever is the earliest.

Voluntary overtime and holiday pay

In the first binding authority to consider the issue, the EAT has held that entirely voluntary overtime counts as ‘normal remuneration’ for the purposes of calculating statutory holiday pay under reg. 13 of the Working Time Regulations (i.e. the 20 days’ leave provided for by the Working Time Directive).

Three-month rule on backdated holiday pay survives legal challenge

Fulton v Bear Scotland Ltd No. 2


The three-month rule which means that workers will lose the right to claim back pay for underpaid holidays where there has been three months or more between underpayments has been upheld on appeal.

Does a worker have to request a statutory rest break?

Grange v Abellio London Ltd


The EAT confirms that it is the employer’s obligation to ensure that workers take statutory rest breaks - it is not necessary for the worker to ask for a break before the Working Time Regulations are breached.

Holiday pay must include results-based commission

British Gas Trading Ltd v Lock


In the long-running litigation relating to what should and should not be paid to a worker when they are on holiday, British Gas went to the Court of Appeal to argue that this should not include results-based commission and that English law, as currently drafted, could not be read as complying with EU law and therefore a change of law is required. This would have the practical effect of there being no ability to bring back claims until the new law is imposed. It lost on both counts.