The European Court of Justice this
morning ruled that the UK’s interpretation of the Working Time
Directive with regard to paid holidays is unlawful. As a result of the
ruling it is most likely that the UK Working Time Regulations will
have to change.
The question arose in relation to those
employees on short-term contracts. Under UK rules, employees have to
work 13 weeks until they are entitled to four weeks paid holiday in a
year (or pro rata). This meant that many employees on short-term
contracts such as in the media and working for schools etc were not
allowed paid holidays.
The new ruling means that The Working
Time Regulations will have to change to remove this 13-week
qualification period, and that employers will have to prepare for the
There is unlikely to be a compulsion to
actually take holiday in the regulations, but employers may otherwise
have to make it up by additional payment in lieu for the ‘untaken’
holiday on termination.
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always seek professional legal advice regarding to your particular
situation before taking any action.