Government launches holiday pay consultation

In an article published in July 2022, Petra Venton reviewed the judgement in Harpur Trust v Brazel commenting on the effects judgement may have on employers in calculating holiday entitlement. The judgement set out that part-year workers have greater holiday entitlement than part-time workers who work the same total number of hours across the year.

As you can imagine, this has caused much debate as there is now holiday disparity between part-time and part-year workers, despite working the same overall total hours in a single year. The Government estimates as a result of the judgement, between 320,000 and 500,000 permanent term-time and zero-hours contract workers (approximately 37% of whom are estimated to be in the education sector) will receive more holiday entitlement than part-time workers working the same hours.

In response to the judgement, the Government has launched a consultation on addressing calculation of holiday entitlement for part year and irregular hours workers. The consultation seeks to address any disparity by introducing legislation that holiday pay and entitlement received by workers is proportionate to the time they spend working. As such, the proposal introduces a 52-week holiday entitlement reference period for part-year and irregular hours workers, thus mirroring the current holiday pay reference period.  Therefore, weeks in which workers perform no work, will be included in the holiday entitlement reference period.

The consultation is asking for views in a bid to understand the implications the judgement has on different sectors and to ensure any changes considered do not have adverse impacts on other parts of the legislation.

The consultation closes on 9 March 2023 and can be found here.