The Trade Unions Congress (TUC) published data at the end of last week which shows that 1 in 12 workers are not getting their legal holiday entitlement. The data shows that workers are losing out on nearly £3 billion worth of paid leave a year. More female workers are missing out on their entitlement than their male counterparts and some sectors are more susceptible than others. The retail sector, education and health and social care workers have the highest numbers of staff members losing out, between 291,000 and 348,000.
The TUC has identified a number of key factors which have led to this:
– Workers being set unrealistic workloads which means they are unable to take leave
– Employers deliberately denying holiday requests
– Employers not keeping up to date with the law
Whilst employers might have previously tried to get away with refusing to provide paid annual leave, the case of King v The Sash Window Workshop Ltd should put an end to this. The ECJ held in this case that, where an employee has been denied the right to paid annual leave, their holiday entitlement carries over indefinitely until a time at which they are given this right.
In addition to developing case law, the Government also plans to crack down in this area. As part of the Government's response to the Taylor Review, it recommended that HMRC be given enforcement powers similar to those for National Minimum Wage in relation to employees' holiday entitlement. The Government has consulted on this but has yet to announce any plans to take this forward.
Keeping up with the law on holidays can be a demanding task whether it’s in relation to the carrying forward of holiday entitlement as a result of sickness absence or the calculation of holiday pay with regards to overtime. Thankfully, your dedicated Employment Solicitor or HR Advisor are there to help you navigate this tricky area so do not hesitate to get in touch today if you have any questions.