The UK Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has  today handed down its decision in the conjoined  cases of Bear Scotland Ltd and ors v Fulton and ors; Hertel  (UK) Ltd v Woods and ors; Amec Group Ltd v Law and ors. 

The position in the UK had been very clear for many years. Workers with normal,  basic working hours under their contract have had holiday pay calculated using  just those basic hours and basic pay. Overtime pay has not been included. This  was confirmed as the correct approach about ten years ago by the Court of  Appeal (Bamsey and others v Albon Engineering and Manufacturing plc [2004] IRLR 457)  so employers had a high level of comfort that basic pay is the correct approach for  holiday pay.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in British Airways plc v Williams and Others [2012] ICR 1375 said that holiday pay needed to include “normal remuneration”,  which includes payments “linked intrinsically to the performance of the tasks  which the worker is required to carry out under his contract of employment”. 

Earlier this year, the ECJ (Lock v British Gas Trading Limited and others (C-539/12))  held that holiday pay needed to include commission payments. It didn’t explain  how businesses are supposed to do that, and the case has gone back to the UK  tribunal to be heard in February. 

The EAT has now decided that overtime needs to be included in holiday pay, even  though it means that the UK Working Time Regulations have to be interpreted  in a different way from how they were by the Court of Appeal in the Bamsey case  ten years ago. The EAT decision has been reached because of the need to comply  with the European Working Time Directive, as interpreted by the ECJ. Mr Justice  Langstaff, in delivering his decision, refused to refer the case to the ECJ on the  basis that there was no need - the European position is clear. 

The UK Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has  today handed down its decision in the conjoined  cases of Bear Scotland Ltd and ors v Fulton and ors; Hertel  (UK) Ltd v Woods and ors; Amec Group Ltd v Law and ors. 

The position in the UK had been very clear for many years. Workers with normal,  basic working hours under their contract have had holiday pay calculated using  just those basic hours and basic pay. Overtime pay has not been included. This  was confirmed as the correct approach about ten years ago by the Court of  Appeal (Bamsey and others v Albon Engineering and Manufacturing plc [2004] IRLR 457)  so employers had a high level of comfort that basic pay is the correct approach for  holiday pay.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in British Airways plc v Williams and Others [2012] ICR 1375 said that holiday pay needed to include “normal remuneration”,  which includes payments “linked intrinsically to the performance of the tasks  which the worker is required to carry out under his contract of employment”.  Earlier this year, the ECJ (Lock v British Gas Trading Limited and others (C-539/12))  held that holiday pay needed to include commission payments. It didn’t explain  how businesses are supposed to do that, and the case has gone back to the UK  tribunal to be heard in February. 

The EAT has now decided that overtime needs to be included in holiday pay, even  though it means that the UK Working Time Regulations have to be interpreted  in a different way from how they were by the Court of Appeal in the Bamsey case  ten years ago. The EAT decision has been reached because of the need to comply  with the European Working Time Directive, as interpreted by the ECJ. Mr Justice  Langstaff, in delivering his decision, refused to refer the case to the ECJ on the  basis that there was no need - the European position is clear.