A landmark Court of Appeal judgment that has provided much-needed clarity about how holiday pay should be calculated for certain types of worker, was brought using a group legal expenses insurance policy.
The original employment tribunal claim was first raised by music teacher Lesley Brazel in 2015, for unlawful deduction from her wages, and was supported by the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM). As a member of the ISM, Mrs Brazel enjoys the benefits of ARAG’s Group Legal Solutions policy, which insures members against the cost of making an employment claim, among other legal actions.
The judgment may have a wider impact on the gig-economy and “zero-hours” contracts generally, but is principally concerned with workers, like Mrs Brazel, who are permanently employed but have no contractually specified fixed hours of work and who are not required to work every week of the holiday year, such as term-time workers within educational settings.
While an employment tribunal found in favour of Mrs Brazel’s employer in 2017, last year the Employment Appeal Tribunal allowed her appeal, which the Court of Appeal has upheld in the judgment handed down this month.
David Haynes, ARAG’s Underwriting and Marketing Director, commented:
“This case clearly illustrates the value of legal expenses insurance, ensuring Mrs Brazel was able to achieve access to justice in a case where she may well have been put off by the significant legal costs she would have incurred if uninsured. We are extremely pleased with the outcome and grateful to the Court of Appeal for providing clarity on the method of calculating holiday pay for people in Mrs Brazel’s position.”
ARAG appointed the Nottinghamshire law firm Hopkins Solicitors LLP to represent Mrs Brazel and counsel Charlotte Hadfield, Lachlan Wilson, and Mathew Gullick from 3PB, to bring the claim to court.