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B&B employee wins claim for outstanding holiday pay after receiving notice of specified leave days too late

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead Burton

In Nikolay Nikolov v Craigatin House & Courtyard Limited a former employee of a bed and breakfast has been awarded £1,085 in outstanding holiday pay after he brought a case against his former employers before the Employment Tribunal.

Nikolay Nikolov was employed by Craigatin House & Courtyard Ltd from September 2021 to July 2022. He argued that he had not been given adequate notice of specified leave days before taking a holiday, and that any payments received had been incentives to remain with the company.

The case was heard by Employment Judge Russell Bradley. Mr Nikolov  appeared in person, while the respondent was represented by company director Lynne Fordyce.

Mr Nokolov started work in September 2021. When interviewing for the role, he was told by Ms Fordyce and her partner that the guesthouse closed for two days per month as well as the whole of November and January and part of the Christmas period, with holidays expected to be taken in those periods. He was not issued with a contract of employment, but it was understood that his typical workday began at 7:30am and ended at about 2:30pm.

In July 2022, Mr Nokolov’s employment came to an end after he gave notice to terminate the contract. None of the wage slips he was given for his period of employment showed any of his pay as being holiday pay. While he had taken holidays, including returning to his native Bulgaria, during times the guesthouse was closed and received paid leave, it was his belief that he was being paid in that period as an incentive in order to persuade him to return to work when the premises re-opened.

Mr Nokolov sought the sum of £1,148.40, this representing the holidays that he had earned through his period of employment. It was accepted by the Tribunal that the claimant had received a notice of specified leave days that complied with Regulation 15 of the Working Time Regulations 1998, albeit that notice was handwritten.

In his decision, Employment Judge Bradley observed: “For the purposes of determining any period of accrued, untaken and unpaid leave as at 4 July 2022 the key issue is; when was the hand written document issued? I have accepted the claimant’s evidence that he did not receive it until his return to work in December 2021. That being so, and again applying Regulation 15(4)(a), it had not been issued sufficiently early for the period 2 January to 11 February 2022 to be regarded as a period of paid leave.”

The Tribunal therefore ordered the respondent to pay the claimant the sum of £1,085.

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