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INSIGHT: Part-time working hours – holiday pay calculations

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If you change an employee’s part time working hours, how do you recalculate the worker’s holiday entitlement?

That was the question considered by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the recent case of Greenfield v The Care Bureau Ltd.

Without going into the details of Ms Greenfield’s particular circumstances, the following are the key points for employers and employees to note:

  • when a worker increases (or decreases) their hours, employers must do two separate holiday pay calculations – one for each period of employment before and after the change;
  • the two different periods of work must effectively be kept separate for the purposes of calculating holiday pay. Whatever leave is taken in the previously agreed period, has no bearing on the new period;
  • therefore, the entitlement to paid leave already accrued and possibly taken in the past period cannot be taken into account when calculating the worker’s new holiday entitlement.

This decision should help employers where a part-time worker increases their hours, leaves the job and then wants their final pay calculation to be based on their new working hours.

Calculating holiday entitlement and holiday pay for part-time workers is a very tricky area of employment law for both employers and their advisers.   Part-time workers are statistically more likely to be women and the need to avoid both direct and indirect discrimination against women as well as part-time workers of any orientation must always a consideration.

If you need guidance on these issues, please contact Susan Mayall on 0161 684 6948 or email

Also in this issue of Insight

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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