Holiday Pay and Voluntary Overtime

14 June 2019

As a result of a landmark court victory by UNISON, NHS workers who do overtime on a regular basis or frequently work beyond their normal shifts should now have these extra hours taken into account when their holiday pay is calculated.


UNISON took this case of N Flowers and others vs East of England Ambulance Trust to the Court of Appeal in May 2019 after winning employment tribunal and employment appeals tribunal cases in May 2017 and April 2018.


The Court of Appeal has now ruled in favour of a paramedic and 12 of his colleagues who all work for the East of England Ambulance Service. The ambulance staff argued their holiday pay should better reflect the hours they actually worked, rather than be based solely upon their contracted hours.


The ruling could benefit tens of thousands of NHS staff employed under the Agenda for Change payment system and is in line with earlier legal cases, which established that workers should receive the same wages on leave as they do when working. Only doctors, dentists and senior managers will be exempt from the change.


UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:


“Before today’s judgment NHS workers who did regular overtime or often worked well beyond their shifts saw a drop in their pay whenever they took a well-deserved break.  Leave calculations that weren’t based on the extra shifts and hours they did week in and week out meant many were considerably out of pocket.


UNISON always believed that the rules around NHS pay already allowed for overtime and working beyond the end of a shift to be taken into account when calculating holiday pay.


Today’s judgment confirms that but does highlight another pressing problem. The NHS urgently needs to recruit more staff so existing nurses, paramedics and other health workers don’t have to regularly work overtime simply to keep the service afloat.


This is a victory for all those health service workers who regularly go the extra mile to make sure we receive the best care possible at all times of the day and night.”



CIPP Payroll training courses

The CIPP offer a half-day training course on Holiday Pay and Leave which runs on a monthly basis (next one scheduled for 10 July in Birmingham).  The course aims to provide delegates with the underpinning knowledge, case law and statutes which govern holiday pay and leave calculations and apply this knowledge in a range of circumstances, so they can manage this provision for their organisations accurately and professionally.


Browse a complete list of all our payroll industry training courses or visit the payroll training calendar to view by date.