Under my contract, I get basic pay only for holiday pay, whereas my normal pay includes regular shift allowances and overtime. Is this right?

No.

Your holiday pay should be the same as the pay you would normally earn if you were at work instead of on holiday.

In particular, holiday pay should include guaranteed as well as regular non-guaranteed overtime, as well as any other regular payments linked to work, such as travel time payments, shift or weekend premium payments and anti-social hours payments.

Where normal pay includes sales commission, holiday pay should include the commission that would have been earned if the worker had been at work generating sales, instead of being on holiday.

These principles are the result of several recent important union-backed court cases on holiday pay.

European law says that a worker should not be put off taking his holiday out of fear of suffering a fall in their normal take-home pay. This is because the purpose of paid holiday under the Working Time Directive is to protect workers’ health, safety and welfare.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.