With summer fast approaching, I was surprised to see a recent report from Citizens Advice stating that half of workers on zero hours contracts and two in five of workers on temporary contracts do not think they are entitled to paid holidays.
It is a basic legal right for any employee to have paid holidays and workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave. Holidays are pro-rated for part time workers and those working irregular hours generally have their holidays calculated on an annualised hours basis. Employers should also note that they are permitted to offer more than the statutory minimum holidays and many employers choose to reward long service, for example, with additional holiday entitlement.
The Citizens Advice report found that some employers were deliberately misleading employees in relation to their holiday entitlement, whilst some were simply ignorant to the law. Examples provided by the report include – an employee in a care home who worked 48 hours per week for over five years and was told by his employer that night workers were not entitled to paid holiday and an employee who worked as a salesperson being told that she would only receive holidays if she met her sales targets. Both of these examples show unlawful behaviour on the part of employers to the detriment of their staff.
Citizens Advice are calling for an enforcement authority to be set up to tackle this issue, however, this may take some time – in the meantime, if you are an employer or an employee who has a concern over annual leave, the Jackson Boyd employment team have extensive experience of dealing with these issues, so please get in touch by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.