Gig economy workers entitled to holiday pay

Gig economy workers entitled to holiday pay

In a recent ruling, judges have said that ‘Gig economy’ workers are entitled to a minimum amount of annual holiday pay. The Court of Appeal said that a business must calculate a worker’s average pay over 12 weeks to determine an average weekly wage for holiday pay. Whether this will mean a change for self-employed dentists, working as associates, remains to be seen.

The ruling concerned a music teacher, who challenged the policy of a Bedfordshire charity where she worked. The Harpur Trust had claimed that it was allowed to pay Lesley Brazel less than the statutory minimum for holiday leave, using a pro-rata calculation.

Officials from the Unison union who intervened in the case said that the ruling would clarify the legal position, “ensuring all workers are entitled to a minimum of 28 days’ paid annual leave, even if they do not get given work or paid for parts of the year”. In the court of appeal Lords Justice Underhill, Hamblen and Moylan said that the leave must be paid at the rate of a normal week’s pay, or at a rate based on the average payment for the preceding 12 weeks if pay was irregular.

The Harpur Trust responded to the adverse ruling saying: “Pro-rating holiday entitlement for staff who only work for part of the year was widely understood to be correct and, in line with the approach recommended by the government’s Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service in their guidance, it has been applied nationally in many industries and sectors.” It may appeal to the Supreme Court.

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