One-Day Strike

Employment Law – Deduction of Wages – One-Day Strike – Holiday Pay


In the case of Cooper and Others v The Isle of Wight College [2007] it was decided by the High Court that when an employer made a deduction from wages in respect of time spent by its employees on a one-day strike, it could only deduct the sum equivalent to a day's pay.

The deductions in question in this case amounted to 1/228th of the individual’s annual salary being deducted for a single day's strike. It was argued that the 1/228th was calculated because the value of the workers’ services to the employer was only provided on actual working days, and not on days that were taken as leave, despite the fact that the individual’s wages would also have been paid over the leave period.

It is trite law that employers should be entitled to deduct wages for time spent on strike. However it should be noted that this deduction should be equivalent to what would be paid to the individual for the days work.

Therefore, it was argued by the employees that the appropriate method of deducting salaries during strike action was to deduct the weekend days and other non-working days (excluding annual leave or bank holidays), resulting in the deduction of 1/260th of the individual’s annual salary for a one day strike.

The High Court held that the correct formula for deductions was indeed 1/260th of the individual’s annual salary. This meant that the employer was not entitled to deduct the sums that it had. The deduction was therefore limited to the wages payable for hours not worked and no deduction could be made with regards to holiday pay.

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© RT COOPERS, 2008. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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