16 June 2017
Unite the Union this week celebrated a landmark victory for refuse workers in a case against French firm Veolia Environmental Services.
Watford Employment Tribunal decided that workers for the waste disposal firm are entitled to accrue holiday pay during voluntary overtime.
The ruling directly applies to two test cases against Bromley and Camden councils in London, but the union has revealed it is currently working on over a hundred follow-up cases and Unite’s National Officer for Local Government Fiona Farmer said the legal precedent set in London would benefit thousands of people across the UK.
“We will now be seeking a national agreement with Veolia covering all holiday pay issues,” she said. “This judgement will have widespread implications for the several thousand members we have working for Veolia Environmental Services across Britain, who should be getting average holiday pay and could be in line for backdated payments.”
Workers’ right to accrue holiday pay during voluntary overtime is set in EU law by Veolia has been fighting this for two years, making the argument that Brexit introduced “legal uncertainty”.
“We do question why the company spent more than two years and enormous legal bills fighting this flagrant lack of acknowledgement of EU law,” Fiona Farmer added.