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EAT clarifies holiday pay requirements

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A prominent employment dispute has been clarified by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) after it ruled that employees must comply with annual leave guidelines discussed in their contracts or face losing entitlement at the end of the year.

In Lyons v Mitie Security, Mr Lyons claimed he was unlawfully denied holiday pay after handing in a request to employers shortly before the annual holiday timeframe closed. But employers refused Mr Lyons’ request on the basis that he did not fully cooperate with company procedure on holiday leave.

His contract stated that holiday requests “wherever possible should be submitted at least four weeks prior to the commencement of the holiday”, and that “applications for holidays at shorter notice will be considered on their merits and subject to staffing requirements”.

The employee argued that guidelines set out in the contract effectively prevented him taking his full entitlement before the year’s end and resigned. However, the tribunal found in favour of employers and rejected Mr Lyons’ claim for holiday pay.

In his ruling, his honourable Judge Ansell advised employees to request their holidays under correct guidelines or risk losing them entirely, but also warned employers to act lawfully.

“Clearly that mechanism must operate during the whole of the leave year and the mechanism must not be operated by an employer in an unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious way so as to deny any entitlement lawfully requested,” ruled HHJ Ansell.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

January 30, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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