Home > Employment Law > Holiday Pay & Overtime: The Changes

Holiday Pay & Overtime: The Changes

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 17 Apr 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Holiday Pay Overtime Pay Statutory

The European Working Time Directive states that workers should receive four weeks statutory holiday pay. This was implemented in the UK by The Working Time Directive 1998. In 2009, the UK Government increased this allowance to 5.6 weeks annual statutory holiday pay.

This is a minimum statutory requirement, but employers can offer contractual holiday pay above this minimum level. Any additional holiday pay may however be subject to conditions such as length of employment or rank within the company. Public holidays do not have to be given as separate holidays, so you may receive less than 5.6 weeks time to book off work as vacation time in addition to bank holidays, but will be paid for bank holidays when the business is closed.

The exact number of days you receive will depend upon the number of days that you work. For example:
  • if you work 5 days a week, you will receive 5 x 5.6 = 28 days
  • if you work 2 and a half days a week, you will receive 2.5 x 5.6 = 14 days
There is a cap of 28 days, so if you work 6 days a week, you will still only receive 28 days statutory holiday pay.

Bear Scotland Ltd (et al) v Fulton

Your holiday pay is calculated, in accordance with The Employment Rights Act 1996, as the equivalent of a week's pay for each week of statutory leave. However the Act gives no real guidance about how your average week's pay should be calculated. This means that most companies will only pay your basic weekly salary as holiday pay, and not take into account any additional payments such as commission and voluntary overtime.

On 4 November 2014, The Employment Appeal Tribunal decided the case of Bear Scotland Ltd (et al) v Fulton. This case considered whether employers should take overtime payments into account when calculating statutory holiday pay.

The Tribunal ruled that additional payments such as voluntary overtime and payment for being on stand-by for emergency call outs should be taken into account when calculating statutory holiday pay.

Workers can make a back-dated claim for further holiday pay owed under the new calculation. However back-dated claims can only be made to The Employment Tribunal if it is less than 3 months since the last incorrect payment of holiday pay.

Good or bad judgement?

The Tribunal's judgement in Bear Scotland Ltd (et al) v Fulton has been celebrated by Workers Unions who estimate that 1/6 of UK workers will benefit from this new calculation with increased holiday pay.

Business groups such as The Federation of Small Businesses, The British Chambers of Commerce and The Institute of Directors have however expressed concerns as this re-calculation could create an increase of around 3% to the payroll bill of the members. This in turn could lead to an increased "squeeze" on small businesses, just as the UK economy was starting to turn around. Ultimately if businesses are unable to pay employees, that could lead to redundancies.

The estimated impact of the decision is very mixed, depending upon which groups you speak to. It seems likely that the re-calculation will in the short-term be of benefit to employees. However if smaller businesses are unable to adapt to the changes, the re-calculation could cause long-term problems. It is very early days, and some business groups have expressed an interest in appealing the decision, so it is a case of "watch this space" in terms of the impact of the judgement.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I work in the security area. My rota is 4 on 4 off nights. However i usually work around 25 shifts per month. Between 7 and 9 extra overtime shifts paid at normal rate. Its my choice. But my question is do these extra shifts increase my holiday entitlement. I currently get 23 per annum
Mart - 17-Apr-19 @ 9:37 PM
Hi I'm just wondering if anyone can help me regarding working overtime and holiday pay ? I'm am in a salaried position but am paid overtime when we stock take,which is usually quarterly, the hourly paid workers in my place of employment got their enhanced holiday paid rate with their Christmas pay but when I've asked if I'm entitled to my enhanced rate in my January pay I'm being told it's only hourly paid workers who work regular overtime are entitled to this and because I'm salaried and don't work overtime regularly I'm not. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance
Mandy63 - 26-Jan-19 @ 9:41 AM
I booked 3 days holiday and went away went back to work after my 3 days of and worked Thursday Friday sat sun instead of paying me for my holiday that I booked they said I could not be paid overtime when I’ve had holiday so they have given me back my holiday but I always do overtime so now I will loose those days
Jue - 15-Nov-18 @ 10:04 PM
Hi. Please can you help. I have just started a new job where i work 5 days a week but only work 5 hours per day. My employer has stated I am only entitled to 12 days holiday pay plus the bank holidays. I queried this and asked is that 12 full days so I can take my hols in hours because I thought that 12 days wasn't correct as I work 5 days. They said no - 12 days is because it's pro rata due to me only working 25 hours. There for someone who works the same hours but over 3 days gets the same holidays so they can take a week off and use only 3 days but I have to use 5 days to get a week off. Seems completely wrong. Please can you advise. Many thanks.
Vonny - 31-Aug-18 @ 8:05 AM
Hello i have been doing regular overtime for 8 years voluntary. I did not recieve holiday pay for overtime. I contacted my employer in april 18 requesting holiday including backdate years. I have in august received a lump sum. All i have been told is that it is backdated holiday from august 2017 owed no explanation of how it calculated. Am i entitled to two year backdate from date requested?
Lisa_J - 20-Aug-18 @ 10:58 PM
Hi I have been working for my employer for 2 years. I’ve recently taken holiday and regularly work a 45 hr week in 5 days. I’ve only been paid for 28 hrs of my holiday not the 36 it should be. I’m told I haven’t earnt that entitlement. I’ve checked the staff handbook and it quotes. After the 1st year of employment you will be entitled to your full holiday entitlement without having to accrue your holiday rights. I have mentioned this to my boss and she said that I am able to take them but they don’t have to pay me for them. Is this correct? If so how is it possible for anyone to take a 2 week holiday in the summer?
David Renwick - 16-Aug-18 @ 5:08 PM
Hi my girlfriends boss is disputing pay due to holiday. They are calculating her pay as a 47 week instead of 52 as she is entitled to 5 weeks holiday. Is this correct. Sounds as if they are calculating her salary less as they are paying her for less days when she should still be getting paid for the 5 weeks?
James - 1-Aug-18 @ 10:35 AM
I have worked for the same company for over 20 years , can they use an accrual system to calculate my holidays? I have just been told that I can’t take holidays until October as I have used my entitlement until then. Our holiday year runs from 01 April to 31 March each year
Pam - 31-Jul-18 @ 5:32 AM
Hi i work 40 hrs a week have been working since jan 2018, im entitled to 28 days holiday. The last weeks holiday i took was only paid 20hrs. Is that fair?
Dame - 20-Jul-18 @ 7:34 PM
Rick - Your Question:
I work 60 hours a week no over time after 40 hours when I hve a holiday in paid at 8 hour rate is that fair

Our Response:
Your holiday pay should be based on your average pay over the past 12 weeks. So if you are paid extra for overtime this should be reflected.
SafeWorkers - 29-Jun-18 @ 3:42 PM
I work 60 hours a week no over time after 40 hours when I hve a holiday in paid at 8 hour rate is that fair
Rick - 29-Jun-18 @ 5:01 AM
dino17 - Your Question:
Hi, I am a shift worker and have been employed by the same company for the past 24 years.I get paid 37.5 hour week but I work 4 x 12 hour shifts.I regularly work random over time shifts, probably on average of 36 hours extra a month, I get paid time and a half for these shift.Because I work in the Chemical industry with continuous process we are told that 'The provisions of the Working Time Regulation do not apply to this sector of industry.'My question is, should I be gaining extra holidays for working these overtime shifts?Many thanksDino 17

Our Response:
No you don't get additional holidays for overtime. Your holiday pay should however, reflect your average pay over the 12 weeks prior to taking the leave.
SafeWorkers - 22-Jun-18 @ 10:31 AM
Hi, I am a shift worker and have been employed by the same company for the past 24 years. I get paid 37.5 hour week but I work 4 x 12 hour shifts. I regularly work random over time shifts, probably on average of 36 hours extra a month, I get paid time and a half for these shift. Because I work in the Chemical industry with continuous process we are told that 'The provisions of the Working Time Regulation do not apply to this sector of industry.' My question is, should I be gaining extra holidays for working these overtime shifts? Many thanks Dino 17
dino17 - 21-Jun-18 @ 1:23 AM
Hi I have now worked for my employer for coming up to 4 and a half years but still have to accure my holidays. I am a part time worker working 15 hrs a week. Is this correct that I still have to accure my holidays if I have not accrued enough when I take my holiday I have to wait till the end of the year to be paid for the days I took and never got paid for.
Sal - 20-Jun-18 @ 3:48 PM
On 27 of march i asked my days of holliday because all year i didnt use all so i asked my p45 and my days of holliday as i decide to ho back in my country , the agency told me they dont know if i will still recive my days of holliday and i was waiting 2 weecks with bo answear and after two weecks they told me i cant take my days of holliday because is after april so the end of financial year passed , i had 10 days of holliday and no one informed me that i cannot take my holliday or at least the money , even on 27 of march even no advertisement before
Emar - 11-May-18 @ 7:02 AM
LisaJ - Your Question:
For the last 7 years I have done voluntary overtime. For the past 4 years I have regularly woked on average 15 hours per week overtime. When taking annual leave I am always financially worse off. It deters me taking leave and have to save up to taje time off. Should be be getting holiday pay? Also can I request a backdate and if so what is maximum backdate period? Thanks in advance

Our Response:
As per the article
"The Tribunal ruled that additional payments such as voluntary overtime and payment for being on stand-by for emergency call outs should be taken into account when calculating statutory holiday pay.

Workers can make a back-dated claim for further holiday pay owed under the new calculation. However back-dated claims can only be made to The Employment Tribunal if it is less than 3 months since the last incorrect payment of holiday pay."
SafeWorkers - 10-Apr-18 @ 3:11 PM
For the last 7 years i have done voluntary overtime. For the past 4 years i have regularly woked on average 15 hours per week overtime. When taking annual leave i am always financially worse off. It deters me taking leave and have to save up to taje time off. Should be be getting holiday pay? Also can i request a backdate and if so what is maximum backdate period? Thanks in advance
LisaJ - 9-Apr-18 @ 11:08 PM
I work for a privately owned agency and we are monitored by all government of Canada . We incorporate businesses. I was told because Govt offices are closed we will be closed and therefore not paid on Good Friday. I am not sure if this is allowed as the province I work in is Alberta and we are supposed to get paid for days off that aren’t our fault. Please advise Thanks
Vee - 29-Mar-18 @ 12:29 AM
I currently work four twelve hour days with four days off then four twelve hour nights with four days off, because of my role I am paid the full twelve hours yet when I take one of my 28 days annual leave I am only entitled to 8.4 hours pay why? It has been like this for the last seven years, also I do on average 20 days overtime a year and again have done so but none if this is taken into account, is this correct?
Tony - 24-Mar-18 @ 8:59 PM
Hi I work 40 hrs a week a.I've been with the company for 5 years. I used to get time and half for any overtime I did. Then last year the told me I was not intitled for it and stopped it.but the cleaners get the same money as me and they get time and half.
Liddle - 24-Mar-18 @ 2:17 PM
Slic - Your Question:
Hi,I receive a basic salary and offshore allowance. Can anyone advise whether offshore allowance should form part of the calculation related to variable holiday pay owed? I can't seem to find this written anywhere.

Our Response:
We really don't know...the whole holiday pay is not definitive and off shore workers' allowance is of coursedifferent to overtime. Do you have a union? The RMT offshore energy branch might have an update on this if you contact them
SafeWorkers - 19-Mar-18 @ 2:31 PM
Hi, I receive a basic salary and offshore allowance. Can anyone advise whether offshore allowance should form part of the calculation related to variable holiday pay owed? I can't seem to find this written anywhere.
Slic - 16-Mar-18 @ 9:02 PM
Hi i was on ssp in January and went back to work with a back to work note from my consultant on a Tuesday. My over time for january is paid in February and i have been docked my first week back to work overtime. Can they do this please
Stevo - 5-Mar-18 @ 5:10 PM
Dave1972 - Your Question:
Hi after recent ruling for volunteer overtime to be calculated in the holiday pay. Is there a time limit as this ruling was only done 31 July 2017. As I only found out in December and the company tells me that I’m out of time.Many thanks

Our Response:
Sorry your question is not clear? When did you take the holiday?
SafeWorkers - 20-Feb-18 @ 3:30 PM
Hi I've had to take some emergency holidays due to health issues. My employer has told me that it will be calculated on the last three weeks due to us being in a new year? I have been with the company for over a year. My understanding was this should be calculated over the last twelve weeks. Please could you Clarify for me.
Lozza - 18-Feb-18 @ 3:02 PM
Hi after recent ruling for volunteer overtime to be calculated in the holiday pay. Is there a time limit as this ruling was only done 31 July 2017. As I only found out in December and the company tells me that I’m out of time. Many thanks
Dave1972 - 16-Feb-18 @ 9:18 PM
James - Your Question:
I work 12 hour shifts as part of a 24/7 operation and do overtime regularly. When the company calculate your holiday pay rate, you say we should get average pay over last 12 weeks. If I book a week off should it be calculated as an average hourly rate for all hours worked in that period or do we have an argument to recieve the average weekly amount earned over last 12 week period. As these amounts we could get are very far apart

Our Response:
It should be based on your average salary over the previous 12 weeks
SafeWorkers - 29-Sep-17 @ 3:34 PM
I work 12 hour shifts as part of a 24/7 operation and do overtime regularly. When the company calculate your holiday pay rate, you say we should get average pay over last 12 weeks. If I book a week off should it be calculated as an average hourly rate for all hours worked in that period or do we have an argument to recieve the average weekly amount earned over last 12 week period. As these amounts we could get are very far apart
James - 28-Sep-17 @ 7:50 PM
Simon - Your Question:
I work a fair amount of overtime with the company I'm employed by, it's shift work, 12 hours, overtime can be at time and a half and or double time. My question is, I've done a total of 311 hours overtime this year, am I entitled to accrued annual leave for overtime done?

Our Response:
No, you don't get extra annual leave for overtime worked. Your holiday pay, should take overtime into account though, e.g. the amount of pay you receive when you take annual leave should be based on your average pay in the 17 weeks prior to your holiday.
SafeWorkers - 8-Sep-17 @ 2:00 PM
I work a fair amount of overtime with the company I'm employed by, it's shift work, 12 hours, overtime can be at time and a half and or double time. My question is, I've done a total of 311 hours overtime this year, am I entitled to accrued annual leave for overtime done?
Simon - 7-Sep-17 @ 10:26 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Mart
    Re: Holiday Pay & Overtime: The Changes
    I work in the security area. My rota is 4 on 4 off nights. However i usually work around 25 shifts per month.…
    17 April 2019
  • Leonardo
    Re: Violence at Work
    I was a victim on March 27, 2019 in workplace, one of my colleagues, was thrown, kicked my buckets and pour water on the ground in the presence of…
    16 April 2019
  • Branchy
    Re: Working At Night
    I work permanent 12 hour nights - 3 days per week - 36 hours per week. How is my average worked out for the no more than 8 hours in 24 over a 17…
    12 April 2019
  • Shiva
    Re: Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?
    Hi I have been working for job and talent agency from 2018 October 20. Then last couple of weeks I…
    12 April 2019
  • Vicky
    Re: Safe Working Temperatures
    I work in a mill cleaning for 4 hours in a morning, there is no air con and I'm not allowed a break, is there a law that states I cant…
    11 April 2019
  • Jimmy
    Re: Working At Night
    Hi I work night is it legal to work a 12 hour shift then an hour after finishing being told to do a days training
    11 April 2019
  • Missjane
    Re: Zero Hours Contracts Explained
    My work place has closed for a refurbishment and I am a working mother 9-3 mon -Friday they r closed and have shipped us out to…
    9 April 2019
  • Nicky P
    Re: When Your Employer Changes Your Working Hours
    Hi there, I currently work at a hotel (worked there for a year) that is beside the restaurant that I have…
    9 April 2019
  • Moi
    Re: Can my Employer Fire Me?
    My manager was leaving the restaurant I work at , before he left he told all staff to stay and have a drink , which we did , a new…
    8 April 2019
  • Upset
    Re: Cancer: Your Rights as an Employee
    My Rota as been messed about with while I 've been off and now I have a really crap Rota I have complained but we're do I…
    8 April 2019