Around 5,000 low-paid women in schools and nurseries across Greenwich have received payouts from the council following a five year legal battle over holiday pay.
Over 470 term-time only staff argued at an employment tribunal that they had been losing up to five days pay a year due to the council’s failure to calculate their annual leave properly.
The public sector union Unison, which brought the claim on behalf of the staff using European law, said that they had been treated less favourably than colleagues owing to their part-time status.
The council approved a settlement last night worth approximately £4m.
Councillors also agreed to revise the formula used to calculate the holiday allowance and pay the correct rate, backdated to 1 January 2013.
Commenting on the case, Unison assistant general secretary Christina McAnea said: ‘This is a victory for all low-paid women working in the public sector. What started out as just one case could soon be having an impact far beyond South East London.
‘Laws that began life in Europe have enabled UNISON to restore justice and ensure that all part-time workers in the Royal Borough of Greenwich are paid the correct holiday pay for the jobs they do.
‘Other employers may have made similar errors with their holiday calculations. If they have, we’ll be on to them to make sure all term-time staff are paid what they’re due.’