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Holiday pay – light at the end of the tunnel or an untimely mess?

Holiday pay – light at the end of the tunnel or an untimely mess?

Where have the various holiday pay cases got to?

As far as three overtime cases are concerned, not very far. One case was settled before being heard in the EAT, and as we reported in our August newsletter, the EAT heard two other cases at the end of July. One of the employers’ QCs was permitted to send in further written submissions, and it was hoped that this would be done during September, with a view to a judgment being handed down during October. Watch this space.

We do however now have a date for the big case on commission payments which the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) ruled on in May of this year. Well in fact we have two dates! The case of Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd is going back to the Leicester Employment Tribunal to work out how the CJEU’s decision in Lock will affect English law on 20-21 October this year. The first thing the Tribunal will have to decide is whether ultimately the employer is liable or whether this is a matter for the UK Government. This turns on whether or not the Tribunal thinks that existing English law can be interpreted as being in line with existing European legislation, or whether it needs to be amended.

If the Tribunal decides that the employer is liable, there will be a further hearing in March 2015 for the purposes of determining how much Mr Lock will be entitled to.

So there is likely to be little clarity before March next year, and in the meantime employers are left having to decide whether to do nothing or do something which might be costly and could prove to be ultimately wrong, but could save money in the long term. Who would have thought that working out how much to pay somebody on holiday could be this difficult?