Holiday pay ruling exposes "damaging" EU directive

04-Nov-2014 @ 15:0

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

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The Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament today said a landmark ruling on holiday pay demonstrated the damaging effects of the EU's Working Time Directive.

Anthea McIntyre said:  "This may seem like good news for workers, but in fact it is bad news for the whole country. If the ruling stands it will add to the cost of the goods and services we all need every day.

"It will make our businesses less competitive globally and ultimately that will damage the economy and cost jobs. When you burden business this way with extra cost it is not consequence free.

The Conservative MEP for the West Midlands was speaking after trade unions won a ground-breaking case at the Employment Appeal Tribunal to include overtime in holiday pay. This means all people working voluntary overtime could claim for additional holiday pay. Currently, only basic pay counts when calculating holiday pay. However, the ruling is likely to go to the Court of Appeal, meaning a final decision may be years away.

The cases focuses on interpretation of the EU-wide Working Time Directive, and in particular the Working Time Regulations implemented in the UK in 1998. The tribunal ruling finds that UK companies have been interpreting the EU directive wrongly.

Miss McIntyre said: "This shows what an awful directive this is -  ill-considered and burdensome; bad for business and good for no-one.

"We need to get rid of it altogether, and we will be pressing the new EU commission to do just that."

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