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Employment law Roundup – July 2019

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Holiday pay

The holiday season is upon us and the next instalment of the Flowers v East of England Ambulance Trust saga has arrived from the Court of Appeal. The case involves voluntary overtime and whether it should be included when calculating holiday pay. European law says that holiday pay should be based on ‘normal remuneration’. If pay or hours vary, then an employer must look at the previous 12 weeks and pay the average.

In Flowers, the ambulance workers said that two types of overtime should be included in holiday pay: non-guaranteed overtime (when they were required to stay late at the end of a shift) and voluntary overtime. They brought claims based on what their contracts said as well as the provisions of the Working Time Directive. The employment tribunal said non-guaranteed overtime should be included in holiday pay, but voluntary overtime should not. The Employment Appeal Tribunal disagreed and said both should be included.   (more…)

Employment Law Roundup – September 2018

Thursday, September 6th, 2018

The holiday season might be ending, but holiday pay remains a hot topic. In Flowers v East of England Ambulance Trust, the Employment Appeal Tribunal looked at whether voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay. Employees should be paid their ‘normal remuneration’ when they take holiday. But is voluntary overtime ‘normal’ pay?

This case involved ambulance workers who worked different types of overtime. Sometimes they worked compulsory ‘non-guaranteed’ overtime at the end of a shift, to finish a task such as caring for a patient. They could also choose to work voluntary overtime if it was offered, but they didn’t have to. Their holiday pay was based on average earnings over the 12 weeks preceding their holiday. The employer didn’t include any overtime in their holiday pay calculations. The employees brought claims for unlawful deduction from wages.

The employment tribunal said that their holiday pay should include the non-guaranteed overtime, because it was a contractual obligation. They said voluntary overtime could be excluded because it wasn’t contractual and there was no pattern to it. It wasn’t ‘normal remuneration’.

The EAT disagreed and said both types of overtime should be included in the calculation. The important question was whether overtime payments had been made over a sufficient period on a regular or recurring basis. Whether overtime payments meet this requirement is a question for the employment tribunal to decide, based on the evidence. The case was sent back to the tribunal for this factual assessment to take place. (more…)

Employment law round up – June 2014

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

It’s been four years in the making. Now the time has come to pledge allegiance to a remote country (or a front-runner, if you’re lucky) because you picked its name out of a hat. It’s the Football World Cup 2014 and it’s shaking up workplaces everywhere.

For employers, it can be a management minefield. How to allow staff to take a decent interest in what’s happening on the pitches and make sure that they’re still getting on with their jobs and behaving properly? As divisive as football can be, there’s no doubt that getting into the spirit of events like the World Cup can help create great atmosphere, morale and – crucially – longer-term loyalty at work. But employers should have clear rules about how they’ll handle the next few weeks.

If there’s some broad advice we can give you, it’s to issue a World Cup briefing to staff. Be open about the concessions and privileges you’ll offer (opportunities to watch matches at work, for example) and those you won’t. Be fair and consistent when it comes to holiday requests and spell out your zero-tolerance position on aggressive or otherwise offensive behaviour at work. (more…)

Calling All Employment Lawyers

Monday, February 20th, 2012


Would you like to be part of our team?

We are looking for experienced employment lawyers who love Tribunal work – especially advocacy  – and want to work flexibly.

If you are interested in finding out more details, take a look at our Recruitment Page to find out how you can become part of our team.

What’s your policy on employee references?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

There are so many misconceptions about references for employees:  Employees commonly believe that their employer has to give them a reference and that they can’t say anything bad about them.  Some employers believe that they can put anything they wish in a reference as long as it represents their own beliefs, while others think that only a written reference can be held against them so they can say whatever they like ‘unofficially’ in a verbal reference  or in an ‘off the record’ email. None of this is true!  (more…)