01622 689700 / 01474 887688

Voluntary Overtime ruling

A recent ruling on the voluntary overtime pay for ambulance workers could have wider implications in the future for other employees in both the public and private sector.

The Court of Appeal recently ruled in favour of ambulance crews whose contracts included both mandatory and non-guaranteed overtime when emergency shifts overran and voluntary overtime which is agreed in advance.

The ruling made by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Flowers and others East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, which was then upheld by the Court of Appeal means voluntary overtime should also be taken into account when calculating holiday pay. This will help prevent staff from losing out significantly on pay when they take a holiday.

Where overtime (whether voluntary or otherwise) is regular, it does imply that the employee relies on these payments and therefore the loss of them results in a disincentive to take annual leave. This could then mean that the employer is in breach of Working Time regulations. It is therefore very important for employers to be vigilant when calculating holiday pay and to ensure that overtime should be monitored. Employers should be fully aware of who is doing what, avoiding the risk of claims for breaching Working Time regulations in the future.

Amanda Finn can be contacted at