Why employers need to consider their holiday policy

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 you are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday a year (including bank holidays) however if an employment lawyer has been used for drafting the contract it is fairly standard that you are not allowed holiday to be carried over from one year to the next. If your employer is rather lax about it and allows you to do it then you might be in for a bumper pay day if you were to leave their employment a judgement has hinted at. Although please bear in mind that this decision was within the Employment Tribunal and as such the judgement is not legally binding but can be used to advised the panel in a Tribunal.

The case of Marriott v Nottingham Mencap resulted in the Claimant being awarded over £4000, a considerable amount for holiday pay that no claimant nor employment lawyer should sniff at. In the case in question the Claimant was made redundant from her employment and despite being paid in lieu of notice she was never actually paid any holiday pay from her employer on her termination.

It was discovered that under custom and practice she was able to carry over her holidays from one year to the next as due to the role that she worked in she was not able to take all of her holiday during the appropriate year. There was information in her handbook which said that employees should take their holiday in the appropriate year however there was a caveat which explained that carry-over was allowed at the discretion of the line-manager.

The Claimant was able to provide evidence that she had carried over holidays from 2009, 2010 and 2011 which resulted in her carrying 30 days over into 2012. The Respondent tried to argue that there was a cap of 18 days carry over but there was no way for them to prove this and as such the Tribunal disagreed with their argument. With the result being that the Claimant was after holiday entitlement calculations awarded 39 days worth of holiday which equated to over £4000.

What next?

If you are an employer and you don’t have a strict holiday policy then it is strongly advised to contact an employment lawyer to discuss your situation further. On the other hand if you are an employee and have been dismissed but you potentially have a significant number of holidays left which you are not being paid for then you have the potential for a successful claim.

As the employee you should bear in mind that you do only have 3 months minus one day from when you should have been paid the money to submit the claim to tribunal but if you do get representation your employment lawyer will ensure it is all done in time. After reading this article you feel that you potentially have a case for unpaid wages/holiday either from the current year or because you’ve carried over holiday from the previous year which your employer has not honoured then please do not hesitate to contact us on [phonenumber]. One of our friendly team of qualified staff will be able to advise you on your potential claim and if they feel you have a case will be able to get you in touch with an employment lawyer.