Paid annual leave

Fiona CumingEditor's message: The TUC estimates that workers have gained an extra 96 million days a year as paid holiday since the UK implemented the Working Time Directive in 1998.

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, full-time workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ holiday a year (including bank and public holidays), paid at their normal pay.

But while holidays are fun, calculating holiday pay has become less enjoyable for employers. In a series of holiday pay cases, the courts have had to determine whether or not payments such as overtime, commission and shift allowances are part of “normal pay”. There are still some grey areas, and the only thing that is clear is that there will be further litigation.

And in the meantime, the Court of Appeal has now dismissed the appeal by British Gas against the decision in Lock that holiday pay must include results-based commission. However, the Court of Appeal did not provide any guidance on the appropriate reference period for the calculation of holiday pay, which remains one of the biggest unanswered questions. But this may not be the end of the matter as British Gas has applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Watch this space.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

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