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Overtime and Holiday Pay

Overtime and Holiday Pay

Employees who regularly work voluntary overtime beyond their contracted hours could be eligible for holiday pay on that overtime, following the initial ruling in a case that looks likely to add fuel to the ongoing holiday pay debate.

In White & Others v Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, the presiding judge ruled that voluntary overtime, voluntary standby and voluntary call-out payments should be considered “normal pay” when undertaken with “sufficient regularity”,which means that they should be reflected when calculating a worker’s holiday pay.

The tradesmen who brought the claim – including plumbers, electricians and carpenters – were invited to work on a Saturday on a purely voluntary basis to do maintenance and repairs on the council’s stock of social housing. They also elected to go on standby every four weeks to deal with emergency call-outs.

The tradesmen brought a claim to the employment tribunal for unpaid holiday pay, claiming that their holiday pay should have been calculated to include the regular overtime and standby. The Tribunal agreed, ruling that this employee on-call rota and voluntary process had been in place for such a period, and with such regularity, that it had become part of their ‘normal work’ and accordingly part of their ‘normal pay’.

This is thought to be one of the first cases in England where voluntary overtime has been ruled to be included in holiday pay calculations although questions still lie unanswered around what can be deemed ‘sufficiently regular’.

For further information or advice about any aspect of employment law please contact Chris Wiper on 01325 466461 or email chris.wiper@close-thornton.co.uk

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