Blog: Our union fighting and winning for working people in the courts

UNISON members know that our award-winning legal team is always looking out for them. Whether it’s our famous victory on Employment Tribunal Fees, holiday pay for NHS workers or the ongoing battle over pay for “sleep-in” care workers, our skilled team of in-house lawyers are unrivalled when it comes to winning not just for UNISON members, but all working people.

But it’s not just our own cases where we can make an impact. Our legal team also scour current court cases for opportunities to “intervene” in cases to secure legal victories on rights at work and pay.

Today is a fantastic example of that dedication, focus and experience, with UNISON securing a Court of Appeal victory which will benefit hundreds of thousands of employees working part-time and irregular hours or patterns.

The verdict in the case (Harpur Trust v Brazel & UNISON) guarantees all workers a minimum of 28 days paid annual leave even if they’re not paid (or given work) for parts of the year. That obviously has a real impact on many UNISON members across the UK.

Staff in schools, for example, are often required under contract to be at school outside term time – and carry out work outside of term-time too. They should get 28 days paid holidays just like everyone else.

I’m delighted that the Court of Appeal accepted UNISON’s arguments, and that once again it’s our union fighting and winning for working people in the courts. UNISON will always stand up for working people by any means possible – whether it’s taking more strike action than any other union, leading demonstrations across the country, making the case in parliaments or winning in the courts.

At a time of real uncertainty for public services with a No Deal Brexit looming on the horizon, these victories make me so proud of our union, and what we can achieve together.