According to research by Unpaid Britain, workers are missing out on £1.8 billion a year in unpaid holiday leave. That’s 1.8 million employees are being denied their employment rights to holiday pay.
Monday 2nd March 2020 saw the launch of a new government campaign to remind workers of their right to paid holiday leave and ensure employers check their staff are taking their leave.
The Employment Rights Act and Working Time Directive set out rights for workers and employees. Almost all are entitled to 5.6 weeks leave. For most this equates to an entitlement of 28 days leave (based on a 5 day or more working week).
Every worker is legally entitled to paid time off (even zero hours workers), whether they work part time, shifts or irregular hours.
Business Minister Paul Scully said:
We want Britain to be the best place in the world to work, and all workers, regardless of the hours they do, should receive the paid time off they are entitled to.
Entitlement to paid annual leave from day 1 in a job is just one of many measures the government has in place to ensure we can all balance work with our personal lives.
People that work atypical working patterns, such as agency workers or temporary staff, as well as part time workers or those that do shift work, are most at risk of missing out on pay.
The campaign highlights the importance of ensuring both staff and employers are aware of the entitlements, as well as making sure that holiday pay is calculated properly so staff are paid the right amount.
From 6th April 2020, the holiday weekly payment changes from the current use of 12 paid weeks to a new basis of 52 paid weeks. Weeks with no pay are ignored from the average.
Entitlement is based on the length of employment, not the number of hours worked or a percentage of time or pay. Such schemes are indicated as being unlawful following recent court of appeal rulings as they do not use the correct basis of working out pay.
Workers are able to find out what their minimum holiday entitlement is using a revised government provided calculator.
So entitlement starts when employment starts. After 1 weeks the employee is entitled to 1/52th of 5.6 weeks (or 28 days). After a month 1/12th etc. The number of hours worked has limited relevance.
When a worker takes their entitlement time off, then only weeks with pay are used to calculate the average weekly pay for holiday pay. Workers can take holiday pay even for time not scheduled for work.