Public sector union UNISON, is today (18 November), celebrating a landmark decision by the City and County of Swansea Council to improve holiday pay for hundreds of frontline local government employees. Following concerted pressure from the union, the council has conceded that holiday pay should be calculated on the basis of all earnings and hours. For the first time, overtime worked will be accounted for in holiday pay. The decision will mean council school support staff, carers, cooks, caretakers, highway maintenance workers, refuse workers and many more may receive up to the equivalent of an extra week’s pay every year, if they work overtime or receive additional payments. The changes are due to take effect from January next year.
Chris Cooze, UNISON Swansea acting branch secretary said,
“This is brilliant news. We have campaigned long and hard for Swansea local government workers to receive what is rightfully theirs – holiday pay calculated at a fair rate that takes account of the amount of overtime they regularly clock up. This will make a difference to the livelihoods of hundreds of workers and their families. These are the hard-working people who keep our community services running all year round and we welcome the fact the council has got behind them.”
The change brings council practice into line with the recent employment law judgements including from the European Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal, which considered the case of Lock v. British Gas. Mr Lock, a sales consultant with British Gas, claimed at employment tribunal he was owed money on the basis that his holiday pay did not reflect what he would have earned from commission. The courts found in his favour and an employment tribunal subsequently amended the reading of the UK Working Time Regulations 1998.