Supreme Court ruling regarding calculation of holiday pay for term time only or part year workers

The HR Dept has provided the following information  which may be of assistance you. If you have any questions on this item, the HR Dept would be happy to assist please email: ,


The Government’s advice prior to Harpur Trust v Brazel was to pro-rate holiday pay at 12.07% of wages for hours worked.  This number comes from dividing the value of holiday entitlement over the usual working year of 46.4 weeks.


This has now been rejected: the Supreme Court has said that holiday should be based on the statutory entitlement for full-time employment, regardless of how often the employee actually works.  This means that an individual who is under a contract of employment throughout the year is entitled to 5.6 weeks a year holiday, no matter that they may work far less than the usual 46.4 weeks.  The most obvious examples being term time workers.


The Supreme Court has potentially created an avenue for seasonal, event and term-time workers to claim for historical underpayment.

Employers could be caught out by anomalies in which employees work only a few weeks, or even days, in a year but still accrue a full year’s worth of annual leave (5.6 weeks)!


For staff who do not work a full year, we need to consider whether offering contracts just for their working period is more appropriate; rather than having long term permanent contracts.  For example, we could consider employment contracts which terminate at the end of each term and then the individual must reapply in advance of the next term.  We appreciate, however, that this is cumbersome and could result in duplicate criminal record checks needing to be performed if this is a requirement of recruitment.