Thousands of workers in Wiltshire could be entitled to backdated extra holiday pay after a landmark tribunal ruled that regular overtime shifts should be taken into account on top of basic salary.
The judgement means businesses all over the country face a glut of payouts to employees who have been short-changed under the new ruling – which permits backdated claims if it is less than three months since the individual’s last holiday.
But businesses have warned that the ruling could result in the worst-hit firms cutting wages – and jobs – as a result.
As many as one in six workers are paid regular overtime, meaning five million Brits could be entitled to extra holiday pay following the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London, which ruled that Britain had been misinterpreting European Union law since 1998.
Business leaders believe the news could be catastrophic for some firms, with claims potentially running into hundreds of millions of pounds nationally.
James Phipps, chief executive of Swindon IT and communications firm Excalibur and director of The Business Exchange, has spent much of the day debating the subject via national media outlets.
James commented: “It is fair to reward staff for the work they do and, as with all things, some employers are fairer than others.
“This ruling, though, is dealing with everyone in the same way and creating extra administration and cost to businesses when most I know are still trying to deal with a challenging marketplace.
“It seems to me an EU ruling which will cause damage to businesses and employment. That cannot be a good thing and there are other ways to target poor employers.”
James is to be interviewed on Radio 5 Live at 5pm this evening and will also appear on the national BBC news at 6pm and 10pm.