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Ministers address bosses’ bank holiday leave dodge

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Bosses who force employees to include bank holidays as part of their annual leave entitlement will be prevented from doing so under new government plans.


Unveiling details of a new consultation, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) claimed that up to two million of the UK’s lowest paid workers will benefit from extra holidays, particularly women, part-timers and ethnic minorities.

Currently, all employees are entitled to 20 days statutory leave but employers can chose to include bank holidays as part of it.

Under the new plans, the government proposes to phase in the additional leave beginning with an increase from 20 to 24 days from 1 October 2007.

“The government intends to honour its commitment and make sure that workers have the right to take paid bank holiday leave.”

Jim Fitzpatrick, employment relations minister

Ministers are also seeking views on whether the rest of the leave should be introduced in one stage, from October 2008 or October 2009 or in two phases, increasing to 26 days in October 2008 and 28 days from October 2009.

Jim Fitzpatrick, employment relations minister, said: “The government intends to honour its commitment and make sure that workers have the right to take paid bank holiday leave and not have to use them as part of their twenty day holiday entitlement.

“When we gave everyone the right to four weeks annual leave in 1998, two million workers got paid holiday for the very first time. There are still many people, particularly the lowest paid, who have to take bank holidays from their leave entitlement. The government is determined to put this right and ensure they get the extra leave they deserve.”

The consultation document can be accessed via www.dti.gov.uk/employment/Holidays/index.html

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