New Judgment: British Airways plc v Williams & Ors  UKSC 43
17 Wednesday Oct 2012
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 281.
Concerns the nature and assessment of paid annual leave required by the Civil Aviation (Working Time) Regulations 2004 (which implement the Aviation Directive 200/79/EC).
The appellant airline pilots were paid both a fixed annual sum and two supplementary payments linked to time spent flying. They argued that they were entitled to both the supplementary payments as well as the fixed sum as part of their “paid annual leave”. Held: in the light of the judgment of the CJEU, the Supreme Court unanimously remitted the claims to the Employment Tribunal for further consideration of the appropriate payments to be made. The CJEU had ruled that the purpose of the requirement for “paid annual leave” in the Aviation Directive was to put a worker in the position that was comparable to periods of work. Any aspect which was “linked intrinsically to the performance of the tasks which the worker is required to carry out under his contract of employment . . . such as, in the case of airline pilots, the time spent flying” was to be taken into account. However, components “intended exclusively to cover occasional or ancillary costs arising at the time of performance” need not be. National courts should assess this on the basis of an average over a reference period which was judged to be representative.