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Contractor may face £1m holiday pay claim after tribunal's ruling

NEWS

A HERTFORDSHIRE groundworks contractor could be liable for nearly £1 million in holiday pay to more than 200 self-employed workers following a recent employment tribunal ruling.

Knebworth-based AD Bly has been forced to pay £4,500 in backdated holiday pay to Andy Cochrane, who worked for the firm as a self-employed labourer on a CIS4 card between March 2001 and July 2004.

Mr Cochrane launched the claim for unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction of wages against AD Bly when his contract was terminated this summer.

Although the tribunal threw out the unfair dismissal claim - finding that he was not an employee of the firm - it found that Mr Cochrane was classed as a worker under the 1998 Working Time Regulations and ordered AD Bly to pay him 66.5 days of holiday pay.

Construction union Ucatt - which supported Mr Cochrane's case - warned that the decision could pave the way for similar claims from around 220 other self-employed workers.

Eastern region secretary Brian Rye said:'I will be informing the Inland Revenue about the situation at AD Bly. If he is entitled to make the claim there is no reason why the others aren't.'

AD Bly plans to appeal against the decision to award holiday pay.Managing director Aaron McSkimming said: 'Our legal team has advised us that this decision is wrong in law and conflicts with a more senior decision of the courts.We will be lodging an appeal at the earliest opportunity, which we are confident will be successful.'