Case update (4): Holiday pay – what about voluntary overtime?

office-holiday-250What do we already know?

Calculating holiday pay has been made much more complex over the past year or so. The CJEU, EAT and subsequent Tribunal decisions in Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton and Lock v British Gas have meant that payments such as commission and bonuses, should now be included in holiday pay. For further detail please see our updates here.

What’s new?

In Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council (available here), the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has reportedly decided that voluntary overtime should be taken into account when calculating holiday pay. Apparently at that hearing the employer’s legal representatives conceded that there is “nothing in principle” to prevent purely voluntary overtime from counting towards holiday pay. On that basis it seems the appeal was allowed.

However, the full judgement has not yet been given. Once it has been we shall consider the case in more detail. In the meantime, although this decision is not binding on Courts and Tribunals outside Northern Ireland, it continues the trend that holiday pay calculations do need to include more than just base pay – maybe even where the work to be taken into account was voluntary.