17th August 2018
The issue of Holiday Pay (average pay on leave) has been a long-running issue for both the Union and certainly the members affected. Despite the Union’s attempt to mitigate some of the resourcing difficulties at source (particularly in relation to regular overtime performed by part-timers via the ‘Four Pillars Agreement’ and the ability to locally agree variation of contracts either on a permanent or temporary basis), it still does not resolve the substantive issue of CWU members receiving their average pay when on leave.
As many people will appreciate, the issue of receiving average pay whilst on annual leave (up to 4 weeks) has been the subject of years of legal interpretations however we are convinced that the legal precedent is now clear for our purpose.
Colleagues will recall Motion 60 carried at 2018 Annual Conference, the terms of which are reproduced below for ease of reference;
“This Conference instructs the Postal Executive to consult with Branches to find suitable cases of members who regularly work above their contracted hours but receive only contracted pay whilst on leave.
Once suitable cases have been identified this Conference instructs the Postal Executive (with/via the Legal Department) to support such members in making a employment tribunal claim in line with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Mr G. Willetts and others which covered voluntary overtime being included in average holiday pay.
This should then strengthen the union’s case in resolving the long outstanding issue of average holiday pay vs contractual holiday pay.”
I can now advise Branches that the Union has been working closely with our legal team to enact the terms of Conference policy and we will soon be in a position to produce a set of comprehensive documents that will enable the Union and its members to pursue a remedy to the issue of average Holiday Pay via recourse to an Employment Tribunal.
The complexity of this task and the various hurdles we have to overcome are not to be underestimated and will require a collective organised process across our Branch and IR structures. So we are now working on the sequence of events that will need to take place to ensure we are in the strongest possible position to win and resolve this issue once and for all. Information regarding our approach will be communicated in the next few weeks.
Notwithstanding the Union seeking to address this concern via Employment Tribunals, a further meeting was held with Royal Mail Group on 2nd August 2018, where the Union made it clear that our preference was to seek a Collective Agreement on this issue rather than pursue a resolution via litigation. It was clear from the company’s response at that meeting that in spite of the various legal rulings, there was still ambiguity in their opinion around the matter of what constitutes normal and regular overtime as advised by the Royal Mail legal team.
Against that backdrop we have attached for your information a copy of the correspondence sent to the business following this meeting which has clearly defined the Union’s position, the content of which should be used to update members via workplace meetings and any other mediums Branches may choose to use.
I want to make it absolutely clear to Branches, Field Representatives and our members that I, along with the Postal National Officers and the Postal Executive, are fully committed to bringing this matter to a conclusion and reaching a Collective Agreement with the employer on this important subject.
We fully appreciate the frustration as well as the resentment our members feel in respect of the Royal Mail Group’s position on this matter and the employer should not underestimate your Union’s resolve to address this matter once and for all.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department and further updates will be issued in due course.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)