On 8 January 2015 the Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 came into force limiting claims for back pay of incorrectly calculated holiday pay to two years following the EAT decision in Bear Scotland v Fulton. The regulations apply to claims for holiday back pay presented to a tribunal on or after 1 July 2015 (see 'In-depth' section regarding the impact of the regulations on holiday entitlement above 20 days per year).
- The minimum statutory requirement for a full time employee is 28 days or 5.6 weeks including public holidays
- Full-time workers annual holiday entitlement normally accrues at 2.33 days per month from the first day of employment
- Part-time workers are also entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid holiday each year, calculated on a pro-rata basis, according to the hours they work.
- Contracts of employment may stipulate whether all public holidays or only particular bank holidays are included in their annual entitlement
- Taking unauthorised annual holiday may lead to disciplinary action being taken by the employer
- In addition to the statutory minimum holiday entitlement an organisation may adopt the use of a time-in-lieu or flexi-time system and/or the use of unpaid holiday entitlement in addition to paid holiday entitlement
- The law has changed significantly in respect of the calculation of holiday pay so that now regular overtime and commission payments may need to be included (see 'In-depth' section).
On Friday 3 July, the government released a full list of countries from which travellers do not need to quarantine for 14 days upon re-entry into England.
Currently, individuals returning from any country need to self-isolate for a period of 14 days in order to protect against them potentially spreading the coronavirus when brought from overseas. This long-expected list, which is available on the government website, outlines that from 10 July some countries will be exempted from this provision. This means that, provided they are showing no symptoms of COVID-19, anyone returning from an overseas trip will technically be able to return to work straight away.
The list currently specifies over 40 countries across the globe, including European destinations such as France, Germany and Italy alongside more distant places like Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The 14 British Overseas Territories are also exempt, as are the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. This exemption is in place provided they have not travelled to any country not listed on their journey.
Individuals will need to complete a passenger locator form before their arrival, so they can be traced if it is believed they have been exposed to the virus. Furthermore, the government are also clear that travellers should check if they will need to self-isolate at their destination prior to making travel plans.
The UK tourism industry is calling for the government to permit an additional public holiday around October half-term, in order to make up for losses seen as a result of the lockdown. Visit Britain’s acting head, Patricia Yates, outlining that the industry has essentially ‘lost’ two bank holidays in May due to the lockdown.
Yates argues that permitting an additional bank holiday in October would help the tourism industry to extend the season. Downing Street is currently said to be considering the proposal, however a spokesperson has admitted that ‘it is worth acknowledging that extra bank holidays come with additional costs’. They are expected to respond to this ‘in due course’.
Following a proposal contained in the Good Work Plan, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has released a consultation examining whether a single enforcement body should be introduced for employment rights and obligations.
A single enforcement body will look to carry out enforcement which is currently undertaken by others, including holiday pay, the minimum wage (currently enforced by HMRC) and agency worker rights (currently enforced by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate).
The consultation asks interested parties to submit their views on the remit and enforcement powers of this body, as well as asking whether it should carry out enforcement of statutory sick pay and unpaid tribunal awards. More information can be found in our news article.
The highest decision on including voluntary overtime payments in holiday pay calculation has been handed down by the Court of Appeal. In East of England Ambulance NHS Trust v Flowers, it was confirmed that voluntary overtime which is 'sufficiently regular and settled' will be classed as normal remuneration, so should be taken into account for holiday pay calculations.
Whether voluntary overtime is sufficiently regular and settled, will be a question that is determined on the facts of each case.
An independent review into modern ways of working, and the calculation of holiday pay for flexible workers, was carried out by Matthew Taylor and resulted in the Good Work Review which was published in July 2017.
Following a consultation on this matter, the government’s ‘Good Work Plan’ released in December 2018 has confirmed that legislation to be introduced to increase the holiday pay calculation reference period. On 6 April 2020, the reference period was extended from 12 weeks to 52 weeks, to allow a fairer approach to holiday pay when workers carry out flexible working hours.