Workplace Report June 2007

Features: Law Contracts


Case 5: The facts

Mr Sumsion, a standby carpenter for the BBC, was contracted to work on a production for five and a half months. He could be called upon to work up to six days per week and was entitled to six days' leave during the contract. He had to take every second Saturday as holiday, except for a couple of times when he was given time off in lieu.

Sumsion argued that he had a right to take his holiday in one block, and claimed that the BBC was in breach of the Working Time Regulations.

The ruling

The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the regulations allow employers to specify the days on which workers can take their holiday, and that there is nothing to prevent these days being Saturdays if the worker usually works on that day. It added that there is nothing in law to prevent employers from insisting that holiday entitlement is taken as single days.

Sumsion v BBC (Scotland) EAT/0042/06