Scottish Tribunal Figures ‘Only Hint At Scale Of Holiday Pay Issues’

Employment Law Experts React To New Data


New employment tribunal figures which show there are 21,000 outstanding cases related to holiday pay in Scotland may only just hint at the scale of such issues across the UK, according to specialist employment lawyers.

The new information from the Scottish Employment Tribunals service also revealed that 535 of the cases are multiples which related to 321 employers in total.

Following the release of the data, the Scottish Employment Tribunals have indicated that they are selecting some claims to act as test cases to determine common or related issues, such as whether purely voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay.

According to specialist employment lawyers at Irwin Mitchell, the figure of 21,000 could ultimately prove to be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the number of claims related to holiday pay across the whole of the UK.

Expert Opinion
“These figures for Scotland are significant but while we do not have similar data for England and Wales, the expectation would be that any such numbers would exceed these.

“Because of the sheer volume of claims, new test cases are being identified that the service believes will form the basis of appeals to the higher courts. This will ultimately mean that many cases will be stayed pending these decisions and we also understand that some overtime cases will also be stayed pending the outcome of the Lock appeal.

“At present, it appears that tribunals will start to expect claimants to properly identify and demonstrate why they have been underpaid holiday and if they do not, they may be preventing from amending their claims.

“Following the decision in Bear Scotland which was announced in November last year – a case focused on compulsory overtime – we have seen a lot of speculative requests for information about the holiday pay structures of our clients.

“In our view, it is for the claimants to set out how and why they claim to have been underpaid holiday, not for employers to supply this information to them at the outset. This approach appears to be endorsed by the Scottish tribunal service.”
Glenn Hayes, Partner