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Refuse workers win overtime pay case against Veolia

2000 veolia camden

The Unite union has said an employment tribunal ruling on Veolia’s waste service workers’ overtime pay is a “landmark victory” that could lead to thousands of further cases.

Unite’s legal team undertook test cases covering Veolia employees in the Bromley and Camden areas of London.

The union said the ruling, which was issued last week, means that voluntary overtime pay will now be incorporated in holiday pay calculations, in accordance with EU law.

Unite argued that doing overtime was conducted with “sufficient regularity” by refuse workers to be considered part of normal pay.

The decision has not yet been made publicly available by the HM Courts & Tribunal Service.

Unite said it was working on more than 100 further cases for members on Veolia contracts, and that thousands more claims “can and will be lodged” unless Veolia resolves the issue.

Fiona Farmer, Unite national officer for local government, said: “This is a significant landmark case which exposed Veolia’s spurious reasons of Brexit and last year’s referendum for not conforming to EU law.

“Unite Legal Services took test cases to the Watford employment tribunal which found in our members’ favour – and we will now be seeking a national agreement with Veolia covering all holiday pay issues.

“This judgment will have widespread implications for the several thousand members we have working for Veolia Environmental Services across the UK, who should be getting average holiday pay and could be in line for backdated payments.

“We do question why the company spent more than two years and enormous legal bills fighting this flagrant lack of acknowledgement of EU law.”

A Veolia spokesperson said: “We have been monitoring the holiday pay case law very carefully over recent years. These claims are determined on the employees’ individual circumstances as has been evidenced by the fact that not all claimants succeeded in this case.

“When written judgement is available we will examine our position further and continue to be in dialogue with Unite.

“We remain committed to complying with all of our legal obligations toward our employees.”

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