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Holiday Pay for Part Time employees

Posted on November 13, 2015

13 November 2015: Holiday Pay and Part-Timers

In Greenfield v The Care Bureau Ltd reported this week the European Court of Justice considered whether employers have to recalculate a part-time workers holiday leave entitlement retrospectively if she increases her hours. The short answer is ‘No’.


Ms Greenfield was working one day a week when she took 7 days’ paid leave. Therefore by taking 7 days leave, it was equivalent to 7 weeks leave (pro rated). As a result, the Care Bureau said she had used up her holiday entitlement.


She then increased her hours to 12 days on, 2 days off each fortnight. After her employment ended, she claimed a payment for accrued but untaken annual leave backdated on that shift pattern.


The ECJ held that the taking of leave accumulated in one period has no connection to the working hours in the later period when leave is actually taken. An employer should distinguish between different periods of different working patterns and calculate the leave that accumulates in each period separately.


The Greenfield decision therefore makes life a little easier for employers, though the calculation is still far from straightforward when working hours fluctuate.


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