Jul 23 2014
A Holiday Bonus from Europe
A European Union (EU) Court ruling mean employees who earn extra cash for overtime, shifts and commission, but have only received basic pay in their holiday pay packet, will be able to claim back substantial amounts from their employers.
The right to holiday pay originally came from the EU through the 48 Hour Working Time Directive.
Thousands of Scots, and other EU, shift workers could now be entitled to millions of pounds of holiday pay for overtime and nightshift hours they have put in over the years – plus. enhanced holiday pay in the future.
A new European Court of Justice Ruling means employees across the country will be able to claim back substantial amounts of money from their employers.
The new law will benefit anyone who gets extra cash in their normal pay packet for overtime and shift payments, including nightshift and commission – but doesn’t get that cash when they take holidays.
This judgment is the biggest development in employment law since thousands of low-paid women won millions in damages for equal pay – also through the European Court of Justice.
When news of the ruling first emerged, it was thought it would only apply to people in sales jobs who made extra cash from commission. But the EU Court ruling makes it clear that this also applies to the tens of thousands of Scots and EU workers who rely on extra payments from overtime and nightshift work to make ends meet.
The legislation says that overtime and extra shift payment money is also due to workers while they are on holiday and must be backdated by several years.
Backdating may go as far back as 1998, meaning that tens of thousands of people across Scotland could be in line for huge amounts of backdated holiday pay.
For thousands of workers, these so-called “extra” payments are a normal part of their pay packet but when they are on holiday, they receive only their basic pay packet.
A Scottish law firm has said: “That’s completely unfair and the law says that now. This change in the law will mean workers can now afford to take their leave.”
The new European Court ruling on holiday pay is backed by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and leading trade unions. All union members should get in touch with their union officials if they want to raise a claim.
However, the Trades Unions are warning people to act quickly to stop employers trying to block claims. You don’t need to be in a union to make a claim. If you’re not in a union, you can still make a claim by contacting specialist employment lawyers.