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The long-awaited Supreme Court decision in Harpur Trust -v- Brazel has today (20 July 2022) been handed down, just in time for the school summer holidays.

This is the case concerning holidays for workers who do not work all year round, such as term time only workers.

The Supreme Court held that the amount of leave to which a part-year worker under a permanent contract is entitled is not required by EU law to be, and under domestic law is not, pro-rated to that of a full-time worker. A proportionately greater leave requirement for part-year workers is compliant with the Working Time Directive.

Given that a more generous entitlement for part-year workers does not infringe either the Working Time Directive or the EU Part-time Work Directive, the issue was one of statutory interpretation. The Working Time Directive does not exclude the weeks in which part-year workers do not work from the reference period for determining the length of their leave entitlement. Although this results in a more generous provision for part-year workers, there was no reason for the Court to revise the statutory scheme.

If you need advice on the issues covered in this article, please liaise with our Employment team, either by emailing us at or calling us on 01484 821 500 to speak to a member of our team.