Holiday pay for ‘part-year’ workers should not be calculated on a pro rata basis


Re: The Harpur Trust v Brazel [2019] EWCA Civ 1402

This case involved calculation of the claimant’s payments in respect of annual leave pursuant to the Working Time Regulations 1998. The claimant is employed by the Trust as a “visiting music teacher”. The case concerned whether the calculation of the claimant’s holiday entitlement or holiday pay should be pro-rated to that of a full-year worker in order to reflect the fact that she does not work throughout the year.

The Employment Tribunal adopted a method more favourable to the Trust, but on appeal the Employment Appeal Tribunal substituted a method more favourable to the claimant.

The Court of Appeal declined to overturn the EAT’s judgment. There was no requirement as a matter of EU law to give effect to the pro rata principle. On any natural construction, the WTR did not provide for the kind of pro-rating for which the Trust argued. Attempting to build in a pro-rating requirement or an accrual system would not be an exercise in construction but the substitution of an entirely different scheme.

Nathan Roberts and Mathew Purchase were involved in this case.