Holiday Pay Case: King v The Sash Window Workshop Limited in the Court of Justice of the European Union (Case C-214/16)

Comment from counsel and solicitor for the Claimant, Mr King, following a reference in the case from the Court of Appeal.

Clare Gilroy-Scott, senior solicitor, Goodman Derrick LLP comments:

"The European court today explored the issues relating to workers' entitlements to holiday pay and payments on termination under EU law.  The case raises specific issues faced by many UK workers who are incorrectly treated as self-employed. The question being whether the burden should fall to the employer to assess worker status properly, or face possible consequences upon termination, or whether it is for the employee to enforce their rights in a court or tribunal at the time, at the risk of job security."

James Williams, barrister, Henderson Chambers comments:

"As expected, the submissions of the European Commission generally agreed with those advanced by Mr King whilst the UK Government broadly agreed with the submissions advanced by the employer. One important point made by the Commission was that as the Directive is a health and safety measure, the burden of ensuring compliance should fall on the employer.  It was emphasised for Mr King that the availability of a payment in lieu on termination is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the directive - otherwise employers would be incentivised to stop their staff from taking paid leave.

The Advocate-General indicated that he would deliver his Opinion on Thursday 8 June 2017.

This case concerned a worker who was allowed leave, but not paid leave. It is important to remember that employers who are already paying for annual leave are unlikely to be affected: only employers not complying with their obligations are likely to be affected."

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