Under the Working Time Regulation 16, workers are entitled to be paid for annual leave which is calculated at a rate in accordance with their normal working hours. Recent cases have highlighted the impact of compulsory overtime on such calculations for statutory holiday pay.
In Flowers and others v East of England Ambulance Trust, ambulance workers brought claims for unlawful deductions from wages claiming that their paid annual leave should include:
- Required overtime when a shift overruns, i.e. when their shift ends during an emergency; and
- Voluntary overtime workers choose to do when asked, i.e. additional shifts planned in advance.
The tribunal acknowledged that the ambulance workers are not permitted to leave at the end of their shift if they are in the middle of an emergency call out. The employees’ claims for unauthorised deductions from wages in this regard were upheld and the tribunal stated that it is essential that their shift overruns are included in calculations for statutory holiday pay. However the tribunal found that as there is no obligation on workers to do voluntary overtime and as there was no pattern in the hours worked, this would not be required to be included in holiday pay calculations. The tribunal left the parties to agree a remedy on this point.
In another case about overtime brought against Veolia Environmental Services by trade union Unite, the Judge identified that voluntary overtime was part of worker’s normal pay as there was an intrinsic link between the overtime and their role and the overtime was undertaken with sufficient regularity.
The cases demonstrate the need for employers to be conscious about overtime worked by their workers as this may need to be included when calculating an individual’s annual leave benefit and pay.