Holiday Pay News

It’s Friday and the first day of December, to see you through to the weekend and tomorrow’s advent chocolate we have our monthly newsletter. Nothing says festive cheer like an employment law round-up of everything that happened in November!

Last month’s update had features on ET fees, bereavement leave, and modern slavery. Last week’s case law update was about the gig economy and train union recognition. This month we bring you more gig economy news, latest statutory pay rates, injury to feeling bands and another tale from the tabs, ho-ho-ho!

Those of you who are regular readers might be beginning to think that the gig economy is all we go on about. However, this is because it has been the big employment law issue of 2017 and a lot of big decisions have been handed down over the past few weeks.

The latest such decision is the European Court of Justice Case of King v The Sash Window Workshop. This case also concerns the previous year’s buzz topic – holiday pay. Mr. King was employed on an alleged self-employed contract to sell windows. The contract made no provisions for annual leave.

The ECJ has held that he was a worker and entitled to holiday pay. It also held that those unable to take leave and thus earn holiday pay would be entitled to compensation for leave that should have carried over. It added that employers cannot use ignorance of worker-status as a defense, it is up to the employer to be aware and carry out all its responsibilities as an employer.

This decision could leave many employers exposed to back-dated holiday pay claims from staff that was previously thought to be ineligible for holiday pay. What this liability could be is yet to be determined as being unable to take leave could either be seen as a quantifiable wages issue or a harder to quantify damages based loss of benefits issue for not being able to enjoy the health benefits of annual leave or both.

It is also worth noting that this decision will be one of the last of their kind to impact the UK when Brexit takes effect.