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17 July 2014, 06:20
A new European legal ruling will see workers across the country being able to claim back substantial amounts of money from their bosses.
It's been described as the biggest development in employment law since thousands of low paid women won millions in damages for Equal Pay.
The new law will benefit anyone who gets extra cash in their pay packet for, overtime, shift payments (including nightshift) and commission but does NOT get that cash when they take holidays. The new law says that this money is also due to workers while they're on holiday and must be back dated by several years. Backdating may go as far back as 1998. Lawyers at Thompsons Solicitors believe that tens of thousands of people across Scotland are in this position and could be in line for huge amounts of back dated holiday pay.
David Martyn, a specialist employment lawyer with Thompsons, said: "When news of the ruling first emerged it was thought that it would only apply to people in sales jobs who made extra cash from their sales commission. But it also applies to the tens of thousands of Scots who rely on extra payments from overtime and nightshift work just to make ends meet.
"For these workers these so-called "extra" payments are just a normal part of their pay packet. Many people simply can't afford to lose this cash when they take leave so they end up not taking their holidays. That's completely unfair. This change in the law will mean that workers can now afford to take their leave. That will benefit everyone- including their bosses- who will have a happier and more rested workforce."
David continues: "We believe that workers across all sectors will qualify for back dated holiday pay. You might be a car salesman who relies on commission as a key part of your salary or you may work unsociable shifts in the public sector and receive extra payments for that. We also believe that call centre workers who receive regular bonus money will qualify".
The new European ruling on holiday pay is backed by the STUC and by leading trade unions.
The claims for back dated holiday pay come after a landmark Judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union upholding workers' rights in relation to holiday pay. The claims will be made under the Working Time Regulations, 1998, which is a UK statute. They can be back dated until 1998.
Workers can claim if they're paid less than their normal pay when they take leave.
They will have a claim if they normally receive additional payments on top of their basic salary.