Flowers and others v East of England Ambulance Trust 3400310/2015

In the latest of a run of cases on employees' pay during annual leave, the Employment Tribunal has ruled that ambulance workers’ compulsory overtime in relation to shift overruns should be included in the calculation of their holiday pay.

Ambulance staff at East of England Ambulance Trust ("the Trust") brought a claim for unlawful deductions from wages against their employer, stating that the following should have been included in their paid annual leave:

  • non-guaranteed overtime that is required when a shift overruns (i.e. if their shift ends during an emergency); and
  • voluntary overtime, where staff can choose to work additional shifts.

The ET held that the Trust must include non-guaranteed overtime for "shift overruns" in the worker's holiday pay, as it was an essential requirement of their contractual role that they remain on that shift in the event of an emergency call. However, as there was no obligation for the workers to accept and carry out voluntary overtime work, the second element claimed by the ambulance staff was found not to be part of pay for the purposes of calculating the workers' annual leave.

Despite the clear delineations made between the elements of pay in this judgment, employers should maintain caution when including and calculating holiday pay ensuring a fair, objective and realistic approach is taken.