Butlins holiday company may have to pay out £1m to 20,000 workers after an Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) ruled that the company had acted unlawfully in charging staff for the cost of heating and lighting in their accommodation, according to the GMB union.
In a test case brought by the National Minimum Wage Compliance Unit, the EAT found that Butlins and its associated companies - Haven Holidays and British Holiday - were wrong to charge seasonal workers an additional £3 per week for gas and electricity in 2004 and 2005.
The GMB union estimated that the deduction will cost up to £90 per worker for each year.
Tim Roache, GMB senior organiser, said: “'I urge Butlins to accept the test-case ruling that charging for power is unlawful. The GMB urges them to stop the deductions immediately and pay refunds to our members currently employed by the company.”
A Butlins' spokesman underlined the ruling did not find the charges themselves illegal, and had the workers made arrangements to pay for their heat and light directly, the payments would have been legal.