Millions of workers missing out on £3bn worth of holiday pay – what are your rights

MILLIONS of workers across Britain are being “robbed” of the holiday days they are entitled to.

An analysis by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) estimates that 2.2 million employees are not getting the minimum paid leave entitlement they are due.

Getty – Contributor

Workers are losing out on nearly £3bn worth of paid leave a year[/caption]

And over half of this number – or 1.2 million workers – are not getting any paid leave at all.

The analysis revealed that workers are losing out on nearly £3 billion worth of holiday entitlement per year.

In the UK, most employee in nine-to-five jobs are entitled to a statutory annual minimum of 28 days paid leave.

People working in agriculture, mining and quarrying, and accommodation and food were the most likely to be missing out, according to the analysis.

Holiday pay – what you're entitled to

Here’s what you need to know about minimum holiday entitlement.

  • Statutory holiday

Full-time staff working a five day week have the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday annually.
The rule applies to any worker whether you are working full-time, part-time, agency or if you are a casual worker.
You won’t be entitled to statutory paid holiday if you’re: self employed (you run your own  business) or if you are in the armed forces, police or civil protection services.

  • When can your boss deny your holiday request?

As a general rule you need to give your boss a notice period of twice the amount of time you are taking for your holiday.
For example if you request five days of holiday you have to provide a minimum of ten days’ notice.
Your boss can force you to take holiday at certain times of year like Christmas and New Year or bank holidays when your workplace may be closed.
Companies can also set limits on how many days in a row you can take off to stop just taking a whole month off at once.

  • My boss won’t let me take any of the dates off that I have suggested

 See how much time off the people you work with have taken off as well as how far in advance they let their boss know they were going to take time off.See if they got similar treatment or if you are being unfairly treated.
You have a statutory right to your holiday and if you feel that is being infringed upon you can go to court.Before you make a claim you need to talk to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas).
They will try one last time to reconcile the issue, and if that fails they will give you guidance on how to make an employment tribunal claim

  • How to calculate my holiday entitlement? 

You can use this tool to calculate your holiday entitlement depending on your work status.

Brits who work excessive hours are at risk of developing heart disease, stress, mental illness, strokes, and diabetes, which also impacts on co-workers, friends, and relatives.

Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary,  has warned millions are missing out on holiday putting them “at risk of burnout”.

She said: “We’re now in peak holiday season. But while many workers are away enjoying time off with friends and family, millions are missing out.”

“Employers have no excuse for robbing staff of their well-earned leave. UK workers put in billions of hours of unpaid overtime as it is.”


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“The government must toughen up enforcement to stop bosses cheating staff out of their leave.”

Rachel Suff, senior employment relations adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said:  “Providing workers give enough notice that they wish to take annual leave of typically at least twice as long as the period of leave requested, then the employer would need to have a good reason for turning down a request.”

“Taking annual leave should be a process that is mutually agreed and reasonable for both the individual and the employer.”

As a general rule you need to give your boss a notice period of twice the amount of time you are taking for your holiday.

So if you are taking two weeks off you need to tell your boss a month in advance.

Sometimes an employer will try to get around paying holiday pay by telling you that you’re self-employed, when actually you’re not.

Citizens Advice recommends you to check whether you’re a worker, an employee or self-employed.

This lad who was on a zero hour contracts was awarded nearly £600 over unpaid holiday –  a right he says many fellow workers ignore they have.

Here is how to figure out how much holiday you are entitled to and double your annual leave in 2018.

Brits waste six days of their annual leave on household chores, going to the doctors and waiting for deliveries.


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