Social housing providers will routinely have a number of construction projects underway at any one time. It is essential for client teams to understand and avoid key contract management pitfalls.
Calculating holiday pay and entitlement is rarely a pleasure and almost always a chore! The Royal Borough of Greenwich is, however, wishing it had spent more time on that particular chore as the Council is facing an estimated £4m settlement bill following a five-year dispute over holiday pay for its term-time workers.
The claim, bought by Unison on behalf of over 400 workers (cleaners, teaching assistants, catering staff etc.) was triggered when a cleaner back in 2012 noticed she had lost a significant amount of pay when her contract changed from a full-year to a term-time only one.
Unison claimed that the formula used by the Council, which dated back to 2008, to calculate holiday entitlement for term-time-only workers was faulty. So much so that some staff claimed they were missing out on up to five days’ holiday.
In simple terms, the Council’s calculation used the term-time contracts’ weeks worked (39 weeks) as a fraction of the full-time contracts’ weeks worked including holidays (52.179 weeks). Unison argued that the calculation was not comparing like with like. The calculation should use term-time contracts’ weeks worked (39 weeks) as a fraction of full-time contracts’ weeks worked (44.4 weeks).
The Council settled the case rather than face a lengthy Tribunal claim and the potential cost in legal fees and backpay. Whilst that might be prudent on their behalf, it means that we don’t have a definitive judgement nor any written reason as to why the Council had adopted this formula or indeed whether it was faulty.
In the absence of a judgement and in light of the rather onerous threat of the Assistant General Secretary of Unison to pursue other employers who have made similar errors, it would be wise to review the calculation of holiday pay for term-time workers and ask the following questions:
- Is there a formula in place with sufficient detail to explain its reasoning?
- Is this formula correct – does it compare like with like?; and
- If the answers to the questions above are vague, do we need to review and seek advice?
For help with reviewing your holiday-pay calculations, please get in touch with Katherine Sinclair or a member of our employment team.
A recent case stands as a good reminder to employers to be careful when distinguishing between pensionable employment under a pension scheme’s rules and employment under a contract of employment.
By early morning on 3 May, it was clear that there had been a huge change in the composition of many councils across the country.
Following our new partner announcement, it is with great pleasure that we can announce additional promotions.
Even those of us with zero football knowledge will most likely know of the shenanigans at a Chelsea FC game this season.
The gig economy, the tensions between it, and our more established ways of working are rarely far from the news these days.
The case of Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Crawford  EWCA Civil 269 will not win awards for excitement but is useful guidance when dealing with workers’ rest periods under the WTR 1998.
Non-UK nationals will surely be worried about an uncertain future, with much still unclear. These feelings will inevitably accompany people to work, and so employers need to be prepared.
Pension disputes in the LGPS need to be dealt with through the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure. Join Doug Mullen for a free 45 minute webinar on getting the process right.
We’re delighted to announce that we have once again been ranked fourth in the list of the top legal advisers by number of charity clients in the Top 3000 Charities 2019 directory.
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