£250,000 holiday back-pay paid out to London construction workers

18 January 2018

Over 100 construction workers at three high profile projects across London have collectively secured an estimated £250,000 worth of holiday pay after a Unite campaign forced their employer to pay up.

Workers were getting holiday pay based on 39 hours a week but in reality they often worked around 55 hours because they were compelled to work overtime on Saturdays.

The construction workers working for Byrne Bros at construction projects including Westfield in White City, The International Quarter in Stratford and 100 Bishopsgate have secured payments of between £400 and £1,000 each with further back payments to follow after the workers joined forces to demand their full holiday entitlement.

When the workers first approached Byrne Bros management they were ignored, until construction workers at different sites, backed by Unite, joined forces and commenced a campaign which culminated in a collective grievance. Management then tried to deal with the grievance on an individual basis but workers insisted on a collective remedy to the underpayments. Eventually, because of union pressure, management conceded and Byrne Bros is now in the process of paying every worker what they are rightfully owed, including back pay.

Read the full press release from Unite the Union:

CIPP comment

The landmark ruling by the employment appeal tribunal in the Dudley Metropolitan borough council case in July 2017 was the first case to confirm that payments for entirely voluntary duties, such as voluntary overtime, standby, call-out work and travel-time linked to that work, should be included in the calculation of workers’ holiday pay.

At the time Unite called on employers to urgently get their ‘house in order’ over holiday pay as this ruling sets a legal binding precedent which employment tribunals across the UK are obliged to follow. We will no doubt be seeing many more of these types of cases about regular voluntary overtime.

The CIPP run a practical half day course which includes an overview of the legal framework that governs holiday pay and entitlement, as well as worked exercises to explore the calculations thoroughly. This course will always include the most up to date information to account for ongoing case law. Visit the training area of our website for full details.