Forbes Solicitors
Education eNews  March 2018

Holiday pay for term-time workers successfully challenged in Employment Appeal Tribunal

In the recent case of Brazel v The Harpur Trust, the EAT upheld a music teacher's appeal challenging the approach taken to calculate her holiday pay.

Mrs Brazel worked at the Trust as a music teacher in term-time on a zero-hours contract. She was entitled to 5.6 weeks' annual leave and was required to take the holiday outside of term time. Holiday pay was calculated pro rata to the proportion of the year worked, paying it at 12.07% of a term's pay (i.e. using the percentage reflecting 5.6/46.4 weeks). Mrs Brazel complained that this meant that she was being underpaid during her holiday. The Trust relied on ACAS Guidance that supported the principle of paying 12.07% (5.6 weeks divided by 46.4 weeks) of annual hours for casual employees.

The Employment Tribunal found in favour of the Trust, holding that taking any other approach would give the Claimant an unfair windfall because she did not work for the standard working year (52 weeks, less 5.6 weeks' statutory leave). To do otherwise would result in her receiving approximately 17.5% annualised hours as holiday pay, which was more than a comparable full time employee.


Questions we have been asked this month

Q. Is it possible to employ agency teachers to cover teaching staff who are going on strike?

A. It is not lawful to supply agency workers to perform the duties normally performed by an employee who is taking part in a strike. Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/3319) prevents an employment business from supplying the employer with agency workers to perform the duties normally performed by a worker who is on strike or taking industrial action, or the duties normally performed by any other worker who has been assigned to cover the striking worker.

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The Lecturers' Strike - Compensation awarded to students by Kings College London heralding the 'age of the student' and the rise of consumerism?

It would be difficult to miss the media coverage of university staff at over 60 universities striking over proposed pension changes. Universities UK want to change the Universities Superannuation Scheme from a defined benefit scheme (which would provide a guaranteed retirement income) to a defined contribution scheme, meaning pensions would be subject to changes in the stock market. Academics claim the changes could leave them up to £10,000 a year worse off in retirement and the University and College Union says young lecturers would be worse affected, with some losing up to half of their pensions.

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Safeguarding: Is it fair for a school to dismiss a head teacher for failing to disclose her personal relationship with a person convicted of a serious criminal offence?

Yes, held the Supreme Court in Reilly v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

Ms Reilly, the head teacher of a primary school, was in a close (but not romantic) relationship with a man convicted of making indecent images of children. Whilst Ms Reilly did not live with the man, they owned a house together, had a joint bank account and went on holiday together. Ms Reilly did not inform the school of either her relationship with the man or his conviction.




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Our next Lancashire Education Forum is Thursday 10th May at Brockholes Nature Reserve, a full programme will be sent out nearer the time.

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The content of this e-alert is merely informative and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice