The Implications of Harpur Trust v Brazel for Schools and Academy Trusts

Harpur Trust v Brazel 

Earlier this year, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) released a guide that outlined the requirements for school and academy trusts to deal with complaints. The guide contained a case study based on the recent case of Harpur Trust v Brazel, which provides an interesting background to the issue and offers tips on how to respond to a complaint. The article will also discuss the implications of the ruling for schools and academy trusts.

Harpur Trust v Brazel


Case background

During an ongoing seven-year legal battle, the Harpur Trust v Brazel case has finally reached the Supreme Court. This case will have a significant impact on the hospitality industry, recruitment agencies, health and social care and education. It may also affect sports coaches and cleaning staff. It will be interesting to see how the final judgment is interpreted and how employers will adjust their holiday pay calculations.

The Harpur Trust v Brazel case involved a dispute between a school music teacher and her employer. The teacher claimed that the employer deducted wages unlawfully. She also challenged the employer’s employee status and argued that the holiday pay she received was incorrect. She argued that her holiday pay should have been calculated using average earnings over a twelve-week period.

The school music teacher argued that the employer’s alternative holiday pay calculation method was illegal. She argued that she should have received the same holiday pay as full-time workers. The employer argued that the alternative calculation method was a legitimate alternative and was not in contravention of the Working Time Regulations. The court disagreed.

The court rejected this argument and ruled that the employer’s holiday pay calculation was invalid. The court agreed with the music teacher that she should have been treated as taking annual leave in three equal tranches. This meant that she should receive week’s pay for each leave. The court also ruled that the employer was not obliged to offer Ms Brazel work.

The case involving Harpur Trust v Brazel is likely to have implications for all part-year workers, including term-time-only employees and workers who work for academy trusts or recruitment agencies. This decision will provide a clearer approach to calculating annual leave for workers who have irregular hours. The decision has also provided a welcome clarification to holiday pay for part-year workers on permanent contracts.

The Supreme Court decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel confirms that part-year workers are entitled to the same 5.6 weeks of paid holiday as full-time workers. The decision has also been hailed as a landmark judgment. It will impact on a variety of areas of work including education, health and social care, retail and manufacturing.

Impact of the ruling on your organisation

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court made a decision in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel. The decision confirmed earlier rulings and focused on the practical implications for employers. This ruling could have a huge impact on holiday pay calculations in the U.K., but it could also affect how businesses across various industries handle employee engagement.

The Supreme Court’s ruling affects part-time workers, such as term-time only workers in schools, and candidates processed through recruitment agencies under PAYE. They will likely receive the correct statutory holiday. However, this case highlights the need for clear holiday pay policies.

Harpur Trust appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the pro-rata approach to calculating holiday pay was unlawful. They also claimed that the calendar week method was unfair. The Court of Appeal supported Brazel, stating that workers on part-year permanent contacts should receive at least 5.6 weeks of holiday pay.

The Supreme Court rejected the pro-rata approach, concluding that relevant legislation did not allow pro-rata leave reductions for part-year workers. Instead, it concluded that the part-year worker should be paid on a week by week basis, taking into account the average of the weeks’ pay.

The decision also confirmed that part-year workers do not have to work the whole year to be entitled to holiday pay. The court also said that this decision is a matter of statutory interpretation. It was also noted that part-year workers would receive a more generous entitlement than full-time workers.

As a result of this ruling, employers will need to make adjustments to their holiday pay calculations. However, many will wait until the judgment is delivered before adjusting these arrangements. As a result, the case could create more debate about the issue. It also could result in more voices calling for change.

While the decision is likely to affect many organisations, it is important that employers communicate with their employees. They may also want to perform a legal audit to assess their current arrangements. They should also ensure that these arrangements are consistent with the Brazel ruling.

Appeal of the EAT decision

Whether you agree or disagree with the EAT’s decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel, you will no doubt be aware of the implications of the case for every worker in the UK. It has been a long wait for the Supreme Court to deliver its landmark decision in the case.

In a nutshell, the Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed the appeal by the Trust. The decision is a landmark judgment, which will have wide-ranging implications for schools and academy trusts. The case is expected to have implications for part-time workers on permanent contracts with irregular hours, as well as workers on zero-hour contracts.

The Supreme Court rejected the Trust’s argument that alternative calculation methods are suitable. Instead, they concluded that the calendar week method was the right one. The calendar week method correctly implements the WTR. It is a simple calculation that ignores weeks of leave that were not taken, while also using the average pay of 12 weeks prior to the leave.

The decision is also expected to lead to more clarity around how to calculate holiday pay for part-time and zero-hour workers. The court also clarified the issue of “separability” between misconduct and protected disclosures.

The Court of Appeal agreed with the EAT that the aforementioned “separable” was not a gimmick, but was a practical application of the law. The Equality Act 2010 protects philosophical beliefs, such as gender critical views, which may be considered controversial or even offensive to some people.

The court also commented that it was not uncommon to see an atypical case where the general rules of the law produce a surprise. In the case of Mrs Brazel, the Trust’s method of calculating holiday pay went beyond the simple application of the law. The averaging method also produced a lower figure than required by law.

The decision in Harpur Trust v Brazel has a wide-ranging effect on leave entitlements for all workers in the UK. It has implications for schools and academy trusts, as well as part-time and zero-hours workers. Moreover, it is likely that atypical workers will receive higher rates of holiday pay than the average worker.

Resolving complaints against schools and academy trusts

Whether you are a parent, carer or other member of the public, you have the right to make a complaint about the services provided by a school or academy trust. Schools and academy trusts must have specific procedures for handling complaints. Some complaints may be handled by other bodies such as the ESFA or Children’s Commissioner. The complaints policy of an academy or trust will provide an outline of how complaints are handled.

If you wish to raise a complaint about a member of staff, you should first discuss your concerns with the relevant Academy Trust employee. You can raise your concerns in person or by telephone.

If you are unable to resolve your complaint informally, you can raise your complaint in writing. The school will provide you with a form to fill in. The school will normally acknowledge your complaint in writing. It will then explain the decision it has made and advise you how to escalate the complaint.

If the complaint is not resolved, you can escalate the complaint to the complaints committee. This will usually consist of three people. The chair of the complaints committee will explain the decision made. The panel will then consider whether to uphold or dismiss your complaint. The panel will also consider whether to make a change to the academy’s procedures.

The complaints committee will also consider whether to request written representations from the complainant. If the complainant is unwilling to discuss their complaint in writing, the committee will consider whether to invite the complainant and their support person to a meeting. If the complainant is not invited to a meeting, the academy may decide to investigate the complaint without them.

A complaint may also be brought to the attention of the Department for Education. This will involve the academy taking legal advice. A letter will be sent to the complainant, advising them of how to contact DfE. The complaint can also be escalated to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

All academies and academy trusts have a duty to deal with complaints in a fair and reasonable manner. All staff are aware of their responsibilities when handling complaints.


Equality Act 2010 (

Employment Rights Act 1996 (

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (

Harpur Trust (Appellant) v Brazel (Respondent) (


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