Not all furloughed workers accrue holiday!

An Employment Tribunal has decided that a contractor did not accrue holidays during periods of furlough. In the case the Claimant was engaged by an employment agency, under a contract for services which was only in existence when the Claimant was on an assignment with a client and not between assignments. The Respondent argued that whilst the Claimant was on furlough and not working on an assignment, he did not meet the definition of a worker under the Working Time Regulations 1998 and should not therefore accrue holidays.

The Tribunal agreed that there was no contract between the parties when the Claimant was not on an assignment and in this case there was no separate agreement confirming that he would accrue holidays during any periods of furlough. It was also accepted by the Claimant during cross examination that before being furloughed, he did not accrue holidays when he was not working on an assigment.

Clearly this decision was based on a specific set of circumstances and we would advise any business that is unsure as to whether or not someone that they engage is entitled to accrue holidays during periods of furlough, to seek advice as each case will depend on the terms of the contract that is in place. If you need advice on this or any other employment related issue, please contact one our team at


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