The long awaited Tribunal decision in Lock v British Gas Trading Limited came out last month. In this article we consider the verdict in more detail.
Mr Lock brought a complaint of unlawful deduction of wages in the form of unpaid holiday pay. As well as receiving a basic salary, Mr Lock was also a participant in his employer’s commission scheme which was designed “to provide an incentive to encourage and reward individual performance”. Commission was payable when a customer started to purchase their gas from British Gas. Put simply, this pay structure meant that Mr Lock did not generate any commission during his annual leave. Consequently, he was paid reduced remuneration for the period after he returned from his holiday which, he argued, was a disincentive for him to take leave.
This case already has a long history. It was originally presented to the Employment Tribunal in April 2012 and then referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in November 2012. You may recall that the CJEU concluded that commission must be factored in when calculating holiday pay (see our previous blog).
This issue was not in dispute before the Leicester Employment Tribunal. Instead, the case now concerned a potential conflict between the European Working Time Directive (the Directive) and domestic legislation.