Holiday pay ruling may have a UK-wide impact
Voluntary overtime may have to be included in workers' holiday pay entitlements, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.
Judges in Belfast held that individual cases should be determined on how regularly staff put in extra hours.
Their decision, in a legal challenge by an employee of the former Castlereagh Borough Council, could have a huge impact across the UK.
The case was brought by Robert Patterson, an assistant plant manager at the council, over alleged unauthorised deductions from his wages.
A tribunal rejected his claim that earnings from voluntary overtime should be used to calculate paid annual leave. But his lawyers appealed on the basis that this would mean he would lose money when he took holidays.
Lord Justice Gillen said it had been correctly conceded "that in principle there is no reason why voluntary overtime should not be included as a part of a determination of entitlement to paid annual leave".
He added: "It will be a question for each tribunal to determine whether or not that voluntary overtime was normally carried out by the worker."
Remitting Mr Patterson's case to the tribunal, the judge directed that it should hear evidence of overtime actually worked and then make a fresh determination.