In a case brought by Unison on behalf of a paramedic and 12 of his colleagues at the East of England Ambulance Service, the Court agreed that holiday pay should reflect the hours actually worked rather than the hours they were contracted to work.
Unison believes this landmark case could benefit tens of thousands of NHS staff who are stretched to the limit due to chronic staffing shortages and are forced into taking regular overtime as a result.
General Secretary of the union, Dave Prentis, said: “Before today’s judgment, NHS workers who did regular overtime or often worked well beyond their shifts saw a drop in their pay whenever they took a well-deserved break.
“Leave calculations that weren’t based on the extra shifts and hours they did week in and week out meant many were considerably out of pocket.
“UNISON always believed that the rules around NHS pay already allowed for overtime and working beyond the end of a shift to be taken into account when calculating holiday pay. Today’s judgment confirms that but does highlight another pressing problem.
“The NHS urgently needs to recruit more staff so existing nurses, paramedics and other health workers don’t have to regularly work overtime simply to keep the service afloat.
“This is a victory for all those health service workers who regularly go the extra mile to make sure we receive the best care possible at all times of the day and night.”