A settlement of around £4 million was agreed after an employment tribunal found that part-time staff for the employer were being treated less favourably than their full-time peers when it came to annual leave.
While the cases of 476 term-time only staff were taken to court, it’s estimated that around 5,000 cleaners, teaching assistants, catering, administrative, and school meal workers will benefit from the judgment.
The staff – who are mostly female – could receive compensation worth hundreds of pounds, as some of them were losing up to five days’ worth of pay a year due to miscalculated annual leave entitlements.
Backpay will now be provided for holiday pay owed starting from 01 January 2013 and is expected to reach workers’ accounts before the end of the year.
Assistant General Secretary of Unison, Christina McAnea, described the outcome as “a victory for all low-paid women working in the public sector”.
“What started out as just one case could soon be having an impact far beyond South East London,” she explained.
“Other employers may have made similar errors with their holiday calculations. If they have, we’ll be on to them to make sure all term-time staff are paid what they’re due.”