British Airways Plc v Williams and others 2010 UKSC16

This case concerns whether British Airways had breached the Civil Aviation Regulations by paying airline pilots basic pay only during periods of annual leave. Ms Williams acted as a lead claimant for some 2,750 others employed by BA whose collective agreements did not specify how holiday pay was to be calculated. Ms Williams appealed the Court of Appeal’s decision arguing that the Aviation Directive required payment of normal remuneration during annual leave in order to ensure that the worker on leave was in a position which was comparable to the one whilst working.

Without upholding the appeal the Supreme Court referred a number of questions to the ECJ. One of the questions for the ECJ is whether pay has to correspond precisely with or be broadly comparable to the worker’s normal pay.

Key point: The Court of Appeal’s decision remains binding but once the ECJ has answered their questions, these answers may well affect many workers outside the aviation industry.