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EU ruling opens floodgates for back-pay claims

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British workers may be able to claim for wrongly calculated pay after European court rules on holiday earnings for employees who receive commission

 

Companies could face crippling claims from workers for holiday pay they are owed running back years after a ruling from the European Court of Justice. The court had been considering a claim that workers who receive part of their earnings in commission should be able to have this amount taken into account when holiday pay is worked out, rather than just their basic pay.

 

The case was brought by British Gas salesman Z.J.R. Lock against his employer, arguing that his commission-related earnings do not depend on the amount of time worked, but on the outcome of his efforts. He claimed that because he was unable to generate any new sales or follow up on potential sales while on holiday, this affected the amount he was paid once he returned to work and under European law he was entitled to be compensated for this.

 

A British employment tribunal referred the case to the EU court, which yesterday passed down a preliminary ruling in Mr Lock’s favour. The ruling said: “As British Gas conceded at the hearing, the worker does not generate any commission during the period of his annual leave... In the period following that of his annual leave the worker is paid only reduced remuneration comprising his basic salary. That adverse financial impact may deter the worker from actually taking that leave.

 

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/10850395/EU-ruling-opens-floodgates-for-back-pay-claims.html


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