Posted on 16 Jan 2019

Holiday pay for term time workers – reviewing the recent decision in Brazel v The Harpur Trust

Question- can holiday pay for term-time workers be capped at 12.07% of pay?

Answer- No, held the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Brazel v The Harpus Trust on 6 March 2018.

All school workers have a statutory right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks' paid annual leave. Term time salaries are pro-rated to reflect the long school holidays.

One approach is to say that a worker accrues holiday pay at the rate of 12.07% as a percentage of hours worked.

  • 12.07% calculation (32 weeks in a school year pro rated)

Holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equivalent to 12.07% of hours worked over a year. The 12.07% figure is 5.6 weeks' holiday, divided by 46.4 weeks (being 52 weeks a year).

An alternative approach is to base holiday pay on a proportion of the number of weeks in the holiday year that the individual has worked, regardless of the amount of work done.

  • 17.5% calculation (12 week average approach)

Holiday pay is treated as a percentage of annual earnings for a part- time worker on a 32 week year and would be calculated as: 46.4/32 x 12.07% = 17.5%.

The 12.07% formula makes the calculation of holiday pay simpler for those with irregular working patterns, and is accurate in most cases, but it is not guaranteed to be the fairest approach in all cases, for example where working hours differ greatly from one part of the year to another, in these cases the 12 week approach would provide a more advantageous percentage of holiday pay.

The underlying message is that term time and part-time school workers are entitled to be treated no less favourably than full time workers.