Part-year and irregular hours workers – Hope for employers

13th January 2023

Many employers will be aware of the Harpur Trust v Brazel case which we previously summarised.  The Judgment has resulted in thousands of Employment Tribunal claims, demands from unions and employers having to change holiday pay clauses and potentially pay back-pay. 

The Government has now launched a consultation paper which can be found HERE to address the issue arising from the Supreme Court’s Judgment.

The Government has estimated that the decision in Harpur Trust will benefit between 320,000 and 500,000 permanent term-time and zero hours contract workers with approximately 37% of these workers working in the education sector.  The Government is seeking views now as to how to address this disparity.

The Government proposes to achieve this by introducing a 52-week holiday reference period for these workers, based on the proportion of time spent working over the previous 52 weeks.  Importantly, the weeks in which the workers would not normally work will be included in the holiday entitlement reference period.

The consultation closes on 9 March 2023.  We would encourage our clients who have been affected by this Judgment, predominantly those in the education sector, to submit their views to the Government.

If you have any queries about the Harpur Trust case or holiday pay in general, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Simon Shepherd at

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