Harpur Trust v Brazel: Paid Holiday for Part-Year Workers Must Not Be Pro-Rated

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    The Supreme Court reached a breakthrough decision in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel; a case which focused on the pro-rating of paid holiday for part-year workers.  Part-year workers are described as those which are employed as permanent workers but do not work for the full year.  One of the most common instances of part-year workers are teachers.

    The Respondent had been using the 12.07% method since 2011 when calculating the holiday pay of the Claimant, who was employed on a zero-hours permanent contract but for teaching term-times only. The Claimant was only paid for the hours pupils were taught, which could vary weekly, impacting her pro-rated holiday pay.

    The Claimant stated that this calculation resulted in lower pay for annual leave.  The 12.07% method involved multiplying the hours worked by 12.07%, which yielded the number of accrued holiday hours. Then when holiday hours were requested, such hours would be multiplied by the hourly pay rate to calculate the sum paid as holiday pay.

    The judgement from the Supreme Court confirmed that this method was incorrect, and that instead the Claimant’s holiday pay should have been calculated by reference to the average pay received over the previously worked 52-weeks. The Court also stated that the Claimant was entitled to 5.6 weeks’ holiday, as this applies to full and part year workers, without any pro-rating. 

    What does this mean for you?

    Firstly, you need to check your holiday allowance and holiday pay policies, as they may need updating for any part-year workers.  Note that this does not apply to part-time or casual workers, only those employers who utilise permanent workers only part of the year.

    Secondly, we recommend reviewing your contracts of employment for any part-year workers.  Our team are on hand to assist with both of these.  Simply call 0845 874 4095.

    Our thoughts on the case:

    This case is a really interesting one! It involved a teacher who was employed under a part-year contract – she believed that her employers were not calculating her holiday pay correctly by using the 12.07% method.

    The Court of Appeal judgement was handed down in 2019 which found in favour of the Claimant, this is that averaging pay over the previously worked 12-weeks (at the time) now a 52-week reference period under the legislature was the correct method to utilise when calculating holiday pay for part-year workers, as opposed to the 12.07% pro-rata method.

    The Supreme Court judgement re-affirmed this point on Wednesday last week.

    The Supreme Court has also reiterated that permanent part-year workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks leave – this is on the basis that holiday cannot not be pro-rated because the Working Time Regulations 1998 do not include a pro-rata provision.”

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