Employment Law Bulletin July 2015


As we enter the summer in earnest, the peak time for employees taking annual leave arrives. Unfortunately the law on calculating holiday pay refuses to get simpler. The latest instalment in the saga comes from the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal which has held that in principle there is no reason why voluntary overtime should not go towards calculating a week’s pay for the purposes of holiday pay – Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council.

In dealing with voluntary rather than compulsory overtime the case goes beyond the ruling in Bear Scotland v Fulton but it is hardly a surprise. The European Court of Justice has made it clear time and again that holiday pay should reflect what an employee normally receives. If an employee normally works overtime then his or her holiday pay should reflect that fact.