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Voluntary overtime must be included within statutory holiday pay

The EAT has upheld a tribunal’s decision that regular payments for voluntary overtime had to be taken into account in calculating employees’ holiday pay. Holiday pay must correspond to ‘normal remuneration’, and the tribunal was entitled to conclude on the present facts that the payment for voluntary overtime was made with sufficient regularity for it to fall within this definition.

The employees carried out housing repairs for a council and had set contractual hours of 37 per week. In addition, they could volunteer to perform additional duties which their contracts of employment did not require them to carry out. It was entirely the employees choice and the council had no right to enforce work. They were paid voluntary overtime in such a manner, and with sufficient regularity, that the tribunal considered it formed part of their normal remuneration, as did the call-out payments, mileage and standby allowances. For the payments to count as “normal”, they must be paid over a sufficient period of time, which will be a question of fact and degree. Items which are not usually paid or are exceptional do not count.

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