The Employment Tribunal recently awarded a substancial sum (circa four thousand pounds) to a part-time chip shop employee after the proprietor deprived her of her holiday pay.
The 18-year old had been employed for more than four years and throughout that time had not been given a contract of employment. The employee should have been given holiday pay once she turned 16 but when she requested this, the owner reportedly just laughed it off.
While this case seems excessive it clearly highlights the need for employers to be aware of what their employees are entitled to.
The Working Time Regulations specify paid holiday every year for all workers. All workers are covered, regardless of the hours that they work and whether or not they are referred to as “employees”. Even self-employed workers are covered if they undertake to perform work personally and the relationship is genuinely not one of a client or customer on the one part and a profession or business undertaking on the other.
The rules give workforce the right to 5.6 weeks paid holiday (28 days for someone who works five days a week) which includes all bank holidays.
Employees have the right to holiday pay from the commencement of employment. The rate of accruement for employees is given at the rate of one twelfth of the annual entitlement per month on the first day of each month of the first year.
The holiday year for new employees may be fixed by a appropriate agreement. If not, it runs from the employee’s start date and each following anniversary. All holiday entitlement from the original 5.6 weeks leave must be taken within the holiday year in question otherwise it will be lost. There is the possibility to carry over any additional leave (extra holiday leave agreed by the employer over the statutory minimum) from one holiday year to the next, but only if it is specified in a employment contract / other relevant agreement. If a worker leaves having taken less holidays than they are entitled to, then they should be paid in lieu of the holiday they have not taken.
If a worker leaves having taken more than he or she has earned, their contract of employment may provide for a deduction from pay in lieu of the excess holiday.
Much of the advice on our website has been kindly provided by local companies and organisations for which we are very grateful - could you offer some advice to our visitors in return for some free coverage on our website? If so please get in touch here as we'd love to hear from you.