‘Businesses Need Clarity’ As More Research Puts Spotlight On Paid Holiday Rights

Legal Experts React To TUC Claims That Workers Are Missing Out On Leave


Specialist employment lawyers are calling on the Government to provide clarity to businesses on key issues surrounding annual leave, as another study reveals concerns regarding workers not getting access to their legal entitlement.

According to the study by the TUC, up to 1.7 million employers across the UK are being denied their full holiday, with many cases relating to employers breaking the law and preventing workers from taking what they are legally allowed.

On average, it was found in the study that 6.4 per cent of UK workers are losing holiday rights, with the issue being most common in sectors such as arts and entertainment, accommodation and food, as well as administration and support services.

The release of the figures has come just days after research by Avios found that one in seven workers expect to not to take three days or more of their holiday entitlement.

Reacting to the studies, specialist lawyers in Irwin Mitchell’s Employment team have reiterated the importance of annual leave and urged that the Government provides clarity on what workers are also entitled to when take such holiday.

Expert Opinion
“Whilst the figures in this study are somewhat surprising, it cannot be forgotten that a workforce which is able to take appropriate leave is ultimately both productive and motivated. Holiday can also be viewed as an important health and safety issue as, put simply, it can reduce the risk of people suffering an injury and requiring absence.

“We have seen a few cases where part time employees have not been given the right to take their statutory minimum holiday – 28 days for full time workers – but this is often due to mistakes in calculating their pro-rata entitlement, rather than a deliberate attempt to reduce their holiday entitlement.

"The Government has a good online calculator which enables employers and employees to check that the correct amount of holiday is provided.

“However, the more significant issue that currently exists, relates to how much an employee is entitled to receive when they take a holiday and whether this is limited to basic pay, or should elements like paid overtime, commission, bonuses and allowances be included.

“We have decisions on a handful of cases which provide some clarity in this area but there are still a number of issues that are outstanding. The fact remains that our Working Time Regulations are not fit for purpose and require urgent amendment. Businesses need clarity. Employees need clarity. The former coalition government indicated that it was going to tackle this, but some five years later, nothing has been done to make this clear.”
Glenn Hayes, Partner