29 July 2019
The TUC published analysis on Monday 22 July which reveals that 1 in 14 UK workers are not receiving their legal holiday entitlement. This equates to workers missing out on £3.1bn of paid leave each year, with some workers getting no paid leave at all. They estimate that nearly two million employees aren’t being given their minimum holiday entitlement, with just over a million not getting any paid leave.
The number of unpaid holiday claims has more than doubled since tribunal fees were abolished in 2017, with the majority of cases being found in the claimant’s favour. Values range from £18.94 to £11,000, with the majority being for a few hundred pounds.
The TUC has said the sectors with the highest numbers of staff losing out on the legal entitlement are:
- Education (341,000)
- Retail (302,000)
- Health and social care (264,000)
With the main reasons being;
- 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.
The TUC says that a worker taking their full holiday entitlement will reduce overwork and people who work excessive hours are at risk of developing heart disease, stress, mental illness, strokes, and diabetes.
TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said, “Every worker deserves a break to spend time off with friends and family. But millions are missing out on the paid leave they are owed. British workers put in billions of pounds worth of unpaid overtime as it is. Employers have no excuse for robbing staff of their leave. The Government must toughen up enforcement to stop bosses from cheating working people out of their holidays. And ministers must not resurrect tribunal fees which stopped people enforcing their rights.”
It is vital that employers are aware of their legal responsibilities when it comes to holiday pay, as the consequences often stretch beyond just the financial implications. It can damage your reputation as an employer and make it difficult to find the talent that you need in the future. It has also been proven that happier employees are better for your business; they are more productive, take less sick leave and offer better customer service, and granting leave requests goes a long way towards making employees happier. Holidays shouldn’t be seen as a perk but as a way of ensuring your employees’ wellbeing.
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