Overtime becomes part of holiday pay

UK companies have a multibillion-dollar bill to pay after a court said overtime is part of holiday pay. The more overtime a worker does, the higher the holiday pay will be. A judge said it was wrong to use only basic working hours to decide holiday pay. Thousands of workers can get money back from their employers from 1998. Voluntary overtime and being on stand-by for emergencies is also now part of holiday pay.
Over 15 per cent of UK workers do overtime. The UK government said: „We do not believe voluntary overtime should be included in holiday pay.” Businesses said the cost of the law will be „unbearable” and could hurt the economy. A labour union was happy with the court’s decision. It said the law „secures justice for our members”. It added that it would continue to fight for workers to „receive their full entitlement”.


Exercise 1

Find in the text words which mean:

1. nadgodziny
2. sąd
3. pracodawca
4. nagły wypadek
5. ustawa
6. gospodarka
7. sprawiedliwość
8. uprawnienie


Exercise 2

Match the words to form correct collocations:

1. holiday entitlement
2. working overtime
3. voluntary hours
4. labour pay
5. full union


Exercise 3

Choose the correct verb from the box to complete these collocations:

be / decide / do / get / pay

1. to ________ a bill
2. to ________ overtime
3. to ________ holiday pay
4. to ________ money back
5. to ________ on stand-by

I know English idioms:

The topic of this lesson is holiday pay. English has a number of idiomatic expressions connected with “paying”, let’s have a look at two of them:


  • to pay a heavy/high price for something, which means: płacić za coś wysoką cenę
  • to pay for something out of your own pocket, meaning: płacić za coś z własnej kieszeni

It’s clear that they both have a rather negative meaning. Can you think of what contexts you would use them in?



Grammar corner…

This lesson’s reading text contains a very useful grammar structure illustrated in this sentence: “The more overtime a worker does, the higher the holiday pay will be.”
As we can observe the structure is composed of “the” + comparative form of adjectives/adverbs repeated, and is an ideal equivalent of Polish “Im…, tym…


Exercise 4

Say these sentences in English using the structure “the…, the…”:

1. Im wcześniej, tym lepiej.
2. Im więcej się uczę, tym więcej wiem.
3. Im szybciej zaczniesz, tym szybciej skończysz.
4. Im większy klient, tym więcej kłopotu.
5. Im dłużej czekasz, tym gorzej dla ciebie.



overtime – nadgodziny
holiday pay – wynagrodzenie za urlop
bill – rachunek
court – sąd
judge – sędzia
basic – podstawowy
working hours – godziny pracy
to get back – odzyskać
employer – pracodawca
voluntary – dobrowolny
to be on stand-by – być w pogotowiu
emergency – nagły wypadek
to be included in – wliczać się do
law – prawo, tu: ustawa
unbearable – nie do zniesienia
hurt – zaszkodzić
economy – gospodarka
labour union – związek zawodowy
court’s decision -orzeczenie sądu
to secure – zabezpieczać, zapewniać
justice – sprawiedliwość
member – członek
to add – dodać
to continue – kontynuować, nieprzerwanie coś robić
to fight for – walczyć o
to receive – otrzymywać
full – pełny
entitlement – uprawnienie, prawo (do czegoś)


download lesson (pdf)




1. overtime
2. court
3. employer
4. emergency
5. law
6. economy
7. justice
8. entitlement

Ex. 2
1. holiday pay
2. working hours
3. voluntary overtime
4. labour union
5. full entitlement

Ex. 3
1. to pay a bill
2. to do overtime
3. to decide holiday pay
4. to get money back
5. to be on stand-by

1. The sooner/earlier, the better.
2. The more I study, the more I know.
3. The faster you’ll start, the faster you’ll finish.
4. The bigger the client, the more trouble/problems.
5. The longer you wait, the worse for you.