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Legislation to close holiday loophole introduced

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Following a consultation, the government has introduced regulations which will raise the statutory number of days’ holiday to 28 days from 20.

But the change will still leave the UK at the bottom of the EU member states’ holiday league table as it does not offer any more holiday than the statutory minimum required by the EU – 20 days – plus public holidays or equivalent time off.

There will still be no statutory right to be given time off on bank holidays but the new regulations will close the loophole which enabled employers to claim that public holidays form part of workers’ holiday entitlement. It’s estimated that up to six million workers will benefit from the changes.

In certain circumstances, employers will exempt from the new legislation. This applies if:


  • They offer 28 days’ leave or more by 1 October 2007

  • Buy out of leave is only allowed above 28 days, if at all

  • Carry over of leave between 20 and 28 days is only allowed into the following year

  • They continue to meet these standards of leave provision – pro-rata for part-timers.

Employers who do not offer these standards of leave provision will be bound by the new regulations which will require them to offer 24 days’ leave from 1 October 2007, rising to 28 days on 1 April 2009.

As a transitional measure, employers will be able to buy out the extra four days’ leave between 1 October 2007 and 1 April 2009.

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