Byrne Bros is to pay more than 150 construction workers a total of approximately £250,000 in unpaid holiday pay.
Employees at London-based projects Westfield in White City, The International Quarter in Stratford and 100 Bishopsgate issued a collective grievance, backed by trade union Unite, to secure payments of between £400 and £1,000 each. They are also expecting further back payments.
Affected employees brought the grievance against the concrete frame contracting organisation because previous holiday pay calculations did not take into account completed overtime shifts. Holiday pay calculations were based on staff working 39 hours a week, however, employees often worked 55 hours a week because they felt compelled to perform overtime on Saturdays, according to Unite.
Byrne Bros initially attempted to deal with the grievance on an individual basis, however, staff called for a collective solution. As a result, Byrne Bros is now in the process of paying individuals holiday pay based on the longer hours worked, including any outstanding back pay.
In July 2017, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay calculations in the case Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Mr G. Willetts.
Mark Soave, regional officer at Unite, said: “This is a fantastic result with significant sums of money for the [employees] at Byrne [Bros]. Even though they were entitled to more money, management tried to avoid the payments. After a hard-fought campaign, Byrne Bros eventually realised the strength of feeling among the [employees] and agreed to the payouts worth hundreds of thousands [of pounds].”
Byrne Bros was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.