UKSC: Part-time teacher wins landmark case on calculating holiday pay for ‘part-year’ workers

UKSC: Part-time teacher wins landmark case on calculating holiday pay for ‘part-year’ workers

3PB barristers Mathew Gullick QC, Lachlan Wilson and Naomi Webber have prevailed at the Supreme Court on behalf of their client, music teacher Lesley Brazel.

The decision comes in the wake of her case being heard before an employment tribunal in 2017, the Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2018 and, most recently, the Court of Appeal in 2019.

The Supreme Court confirmed the rights of part-year and zero hours contract workers to the full 5.6 weeks’ statutory paid holiday provided for under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and rejected the argument of the school that the entitlement of such workers should be reduced on a pro-rata basis.

3PB were instructed in this appeal by Hopkins Solicitors LLP to act on behalf of Mrs Brazel, a clarinet and saxophone teacher who teaches at the independent Bedford Girls’ School, which is run by the Harpur Trust.

She was supported over several years of legal action by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and ARAG who provide legal expenses insurance to the ISM’s members.

Mr Gullick said: “This judgment gives clarity on the method of calculating holiday pay for people in Mrs Brazel’s position working on permanent ‘zero-hours’ contracts and who are not required to work every week of the leave year. The judgment will be of particular interest to term-time workers at schools, colleges and universities, as well as many other types of workers whose working patterns do not fit the traditional ‘full-time’ model.”

Employment partner Carl Wright at Hopkins Solicitors commented: “We are obviously delighted with both the outcome of the appeal and to have been able to clarify the law for the benefit of all of those workers who, like Mrs Brazel, work on term time only contracts.

“As a consequence of this decision, term time only workers will be entitled to the same minimum annual holiday as those that are contracted to work all year round.”

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