Pilots pioneer route to higher holiday pay

A long battle between airline pilots and British Airways may have paved the way for more generous holiday pay for ground-based UK workers.

When the Working Time Regulations were introduced exactly 15 years ago, little thought appears to have been given to how holiday pay should be calculated. Instead the government of the day reached for a shortcut. It cross-referred to the calculation of a week’s pay in the Employment Rights Act, which had been used for many years to calculate redundancy payments and the compensatory award for unfair dismissal.

Nearly 10 years ago, in Bamsey v Albon Engineering, the Court of Appeal dismissed arguments that this shortcut had failed to comply with the Working Time Directive, the EU legislation that the regulations had been brought in to implement. The dispute arose because the Employment Rights Act excludes non-contractual overtime from the calculation of a week’s pay…

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