B P Collins’ employment team reports that the Supreme Court has upheld the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Harpur Trust v Brazel that a worker who only works for part of the year should not have their holiday allowance proportionally reduced to account for this.    

Many employers had traditionally calculated holiday allowances based on hours worked using the “percentage method”, whereby a worker receives paid leave for 12.07% of the work that they have actually performed. This is how the Harpur Trust calculated Ms Brazel’s holiday entitlement.

The Supreme Court rejected the argument that a part-year worker’s leave entitlement had to be pro-rated to take account of the weeks not worked. It acknowledged that a part-year worker would end up enjoying a greater amount of leave in proportion to the work undertaken, but there was nothing in law to prevent this more generous entitlement.

This decision means that part-year workers (for example, those who only work during term time) and workers who work irregular hours will now receive the same amount of holiday as full-time workers. This will affect workers in schools and colleges as well as zero-hours workers who do not work all year round.

Jo Davis, employment partner, comments:

This decision has significant implications for employers who engage term-time, irregular or seasonal workers. They should, as a priority, review their annual leave policies to ensure that they are in line with this confirmed principle. Employers might also want to reconsider the decision to have permanent contracts in place for workers who do irregular or seasonal work.”

If you have any questions about this article, calculating holiday entitlement or any other employment matter, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Employment team at enquiries@bpcollins.co.uk or call 01753 279029.

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