A Court of Appeal ruling on holiday pay is expected to affect care providers up and down the country.
The ruling confirms that all employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days paid annual leave, even if they work irregular hours.
In addition, this leave must be paid at the rate of a normal week’s pay, or based on the average payment for the preceding 12 weeks if pay is irregular.
Public sector union Unison intervened in the appeal, which was being defended by music teacher Mrs Lesley Brazel and brought by Harpur Trust, her term-time employer.
The trust claimed she was entitled to leave and pay below the statutory minimum.
But after a four-year battle, three judges said the method of “pro-rating” used by the trust to work out holiday pay – which resulted in a lower figure – was not provided for within the working time regulations.
Unison said that although the teacher is not a member of Unison, the union was concerned about the wider implications of the case and how it would affect hundreds of thousands of part-time workers and those working irregular hours.
UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “Unison intervened because this case was about all workers being treated fairly and would have an impact across the whole of the UK.
Legal officer Shantha David who acted for Unison said: “We’re extremely pleased that the Court of Appeal considered and accepted UNISON’s argument.
“The government’s failure to provide guidance in this area has left workers in limbo. The courts have once again had to step in to stop the abuse of workers and to fix what legislation should have made clear from the outset.”