In recent weeks, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that, where employees have agreed to vary their contractual hours which results in them having no hours of work on a particular day of the week, then even if this is only a temporary variation they cannot claim a statutory guarantee payment in respect of that day.
In this case, the GMB entered into an agreement on behalf of its members to temporarily reduce employees’ hours of work from 39 to 34 hours per week. This resulted in employees not working on Fridays for the duration of the temporary period. The employer did not pay the employees statutory guarantee payments in respect of Friday of each week. The GMB lodged a claim with the Employment Tribunal for backdated payment.
The EAT held that the employees had no entitlement to statutory guarantee payments because the right to such payments would only apply in respect of a day during any part of which an employee would normally be required to work in accordance with their contract of employment. Given that the employees had agreed to vary their contract of employment so as not to work on Fridays, it was found that they had no normal working hours on Friday of each week. It did not matter that the variation not to work on Fridays was temporary, or that it had been agreed through collective bargaining.
The full case can be found here.(Case name: Abercrombie and Others and AGA Rangemaster EAT/0099/12/SM).