July 28, 2018

Employers Across all Industries not Giving Staff their Legal Holiday Entitlement say TUC

The TUC has published new analysis showing 2.2m employees are losing out on their holiday entitlement each year, with over half receiving no paid holiday at all.

9.2% of female workers and 7.2% of male workers miss out on nearly £3bn in unpaid annual leave by UK businesses according to their analysis, which draws on unpublished data from the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) Labour Force Survey.

Their work also shows a breakdown by sector, highlighting how some sectors are significantly worse ‘offenders’ than others.

Here’s the top ’10’:

Sector% Employees not getting legal entitlement
Agriculture14.9
Mining/quarry14.7
Accommodation/food13.9
Education11.3
Other services11.1
Admin/support11
Arts/entertainment/recreation10.6
Wholesale/retail8.8
Transport/storage7.4
Information/communications7.4

The European Working Time Directive 2003 (EWTD) gives employees the right to four weeks – 20 working days – paid holiday each year, and commits all EU states to institute national legislation.

In the UK this was done through the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), which was extended further in the Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2007 to give workers the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday each year.

However, while the headline requirements are straightforward, actually calculating holiday entitlement is a tricky business, with calculations dependent on a number of factors.

And they can be complicated further when employees leave or join part way through a holiday year, or when they switch to-and-from part/full-time work and daily/hourly pay.

And it could be that this complexity accounts for a lot of the difficulties for employers.

The TUC says the main reasons employees miss out are:

  • Workers being set unrealistic workloads that do not allow time to take leave
  • Employers deliberately denying holiday requests and managing out people’s leave
  • Employers not keeping up to date with the law

They have been pressuring the Government to require HMRC to enforce holiday entitlement in UK businesses (including giving them the power to ensure workers are fully compensated for any missed holidays). The Government has recently consulted on this issue but is yet to report back to Parliament with its intentions.

Help calculating holiday entitlement

We have produced a mini-guide for employers to help them calculate holiday entitlement – you can download the mini-guide from our Resources section. Moorepay customers should call the Advice Line on 0845 073 0240 for help on this or any other HR matter.

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About the author

Stuart Clough

Stuart (MCIPR) is a trained journalist, writer and marketer with ten years' experience in B2B, public sector and employee communications. A former marketing consultant and agency client-lead, Stuart is responsible for communications and content at Moorepay.