Thursfields warning over holiday pay for term-time workers after Supreme Court ruling

29 Jul 2022

Published in: Member News

Businesses need to adjust to holiday pay ruling

 A landmark judgment on holiday pay for staff only working for parts of the year will have a “considerable impact” and “significant financial repercussions” for employers, Thursfields Solicitors has warned.

The leading Midland law firm’s comments follow the Harpur Trust v Brazel ruling that staff such as term-time workers should not have their paid holiday adjusted pro-rata.

Lisa Kemp, an associate director in the Employment department at Thursfields, explained that Lesley Brazel was employed by The Harpur Trust as a music teacher on a permanent zero-hours contract.

Ms Brazel had argued the Trust was wrong to apply a pro-rata calculation to her annual leave because she only worked during the school term, claiming this method was not compliant with working time regulations.

After a long-running, legal battle, the Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the school’s appeal, ruling in Ms Brazel’s favour.

Ms Kemp said: “This long-awaited decision will have a considerable impact on thousands of organisations who employ staff on a zero-hours, term-time or part-year basis, a common practice across many industries particularly in the education sector.

“The ruling will have significant financial repercussions for employers given workers engaged on part-years contracts may be entitled to back-pay following the Supreme Court’s decision.

“Employers should review their holiday practices and conduct an internal audit to consider whether they are compliant with this ruling.”

Ms Kemp said the case had been closely monitored by unions who have been actively pursuing holiday claims on behalf of term-time only staff. This included Unison who claims the judgment means all workers in the UK should now receive the same minimum level of paid annual holiday leave, regardless of how many hours they work.

Ms Kemp added: “This judgment means it will no longer be possible for employers to argue staff who don’t work all year are only entitled to holiday based on the hours they work.

“The repercussions will be particularly significant in the education sector where term-time contracts are commonplace.”

Anyone seeking advice on employment matters can contact Ms Kemp on 0345 20 73 72 8 or by e-mailing

Ends (346 words)

For further information, please contact: Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: Tel: 01905 677066 Or ASAP PR – 07990 978257. Twitter – @Thursfields LinkedIn -

Notes to Editors Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with nearly 130 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Submitted by Andy from Thursfields Solicitors
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