HR & Management

Easyjet becomes first airline to compensate staff for underpayment of holiday pay

2 min read

30 September 2015

Following the landmark case of Lock vs British Gas, Easyjet has become the first airline to pay cabin crew their holiday entitlement – including any commission.

Easyjet’s decision follows the British Gas v Lock case at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in May.

Lock was a British Gas salesman who received commission for successful sales on top of basic pay. His holiday pay was based on basic pay only, but Lock argued that whilst he was on holiday he could not generate commission. He therefor claimed that his holiday pay ought to reflect what he would have earned from commission during his holiday.

The ECJ concluded that workers who received commission as a regular part of their salary should have this included in their holiday pay calculation.

The Lock case is still under appeal, but Easyjet has decided not to wait for the court’s decision and has already begun to include commission into new holiday pay calculations.

This is due, in part, to the 2,000 members of the Unite union who balloted over whether or not to take strike action.

British cabin crew staff planned to walk out over pay after talks between unions and the airline broke down following months of negotiations.

EasyJet said it would award staff a 4.1 per cent pay rise – 5.1 per cent for cabin managers – over the next two years, “on top of an already market-leading set of pay and conditions in the UK”.

“We believe it is right to make the award now since cabin crew, the majority of which are not union members, have been waiting for a conclusion to the pay discussions for a number of months,” the airline said.

The airline also agreed to pay cabin crew their holiday entitlement, including any commission. The deal covers all 2,500 cabin crew across the company.

Simon McCartney, Unite regional officer, said: “Strike action is always a last resort but once we began balloting our members, management realised just how much of a problem a strike would be.

“I hope this fantastic result for our members shows people, in a time where trade unions are under attack from the government, that we are here for the people and we are here to stay.”