Controversial Holiday Payments Failure Mean All Bets Off

23rd September 2019

Holiday payments at Betfred are under fire. It has been revealed the bookmaker has reportedly failed to correctly include overtime within their calculations.

Worse still they have apparently failed to tell staff.  A whistleblower suggested they were only prepared to take action when individual staff members brought employment tribunal claims.

The failure affects 7000 staff in the betting chain. It all stems around two court cases in 2017 and 2019.  The cases concluded that voluntary overtime has to be included in holiday pay.

Betfred’s defence was that its outsourced payroll system couldn’t cope with the complicated nature of the payments.

They said that their automated payroll system failed to correctly pay staff who had worked overtime ahead of a holiday period. Instead, it calculated their holiday pay based on their contracted hours, leaving them out of pocket by hundreds of pounds. I find that odd as any professional outsourced payroll supplier or payroll software provider should be all over this.

A very simple solution would have been to include all paid overtime when working out the 12-week average and to include it in all holiday pay. Slightly more costly, but ultimately a solution that Betfred could have adopted. Otherwise, a simple coding exercise by your software supplier or outsourced payroll provider should have tied this one up.

The failure is both costly and reputationally damaging for Betfred.

Holiday Payments – Are you breaking the law?

A recent Resolution Foundation report goes further. It suggests that more than a million employees do not receive the correct holiday pay that they should have according to employment law

The report also suggests that one in ten employees still don’t receive a payslip, legally required in the UK. And don’t forget the payslip law changed in 2019 to additionally call for a breakdown on payslips. This was the Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018.

Employers will now be required to provide employees who are paid according to ‘time worked’. Time worked details of the number of hours being paid on their payslip.

From April 2020 the law changes again from a 12-week to a 52-week reference period. So, payroll teams need to ensure that their outsourced provider or software system is up to date with the changing employment law landscape.

Our advice is to check to avoid costly employment tribunals, unhappy employees, and reputational damage.

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