The Court of Appeal has ruled that an employee’s salary accrues day to day pursuant to the Apportionment Act 1870, but the rate at which it accrues will be determined by the terms of the contract (subject to the default rate of 1/365). It is prudent to avoid dispute by expressly specifying the daily accrual rate.
In Hartley v King Edward VI College, teachers failed to establish that the correct amount to deduct for a one-day strike was 1/365. Under their employment contracts, pay was closely linked with the 195 days’ “directed time” required; any “undirected time” spent on preparation/administration (which could be worked on any day of the year) simply contributed to the value of the directed time. It was also relevant that teachers were paid 1/195 for extra days or to work as supply teachers. As the contracts specified working days of Monday to Friday, the Court upheld the College’s approach of treating the rate of accrual as 1/260 per day.