New survey finds confusion but if you’re employed you’re entitled to paid holidays no matter your working pattern
The government has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of holiday pay after it found around a third of workers believed only folk on permanent contracts get it.
In fact almost all employees are legally entitled to paid leave no matter how they work.
A survey of over 2000 workers carried out by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) found that people who work a pattern other than the full time traditional office hours were less likely to think they were entitled to holiday pay.
According to government figures that means workers are missing out on £1.8 billion of holiday pay because they aren’t claiming what they are allowed.
According to BEIS around 1.8 million employees do not take the holiday they are entitled to.
And even those that do get paid leave are often not getting the correct amount of holiday pay because those on atypical hours or contracts can find it hard to calculate what they should get. Employers also struggle to work out what they ought to be paying employees who work part-time or on shifts.
There was also some confusion with how soon holiday pay is accrued in a job, with 52% incorrectly thinking that you have to work at least three months to be entitled to holiday pay. Some 58% of workers thought that holiday pay is earned for every hour worked, but only 52% of atypical workers were likely to think this.
The survey also found 35% of workers incorrectly thought that only people in permanent jobs get holiday pay and half of workers thought that workers on zero hours contracts didn’t qualify for holiday pay.
The Government has issued new guidance on how holidays are accrued and on calculating holiday entitlement. And they have produced a ‘myth-buster’ factsheet tackling the main misunderstandings around holiday pay which you can read below:
Myth 1: You have to work at least three months before being entitled to any holiday pay
Wrong. You start to accrue holiday from the day you start a job. For every hour that you work, you are legally entitled to paid time off.
Myth 2: Workers on zero hours contracts don’t qualify for holiday pay
Wrong. Holiday pay comes with your job. Almost all workers, including atypical workers on zero hours contracts, agency workers and those who are on contracts which mean they work irregular hours, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year.
Myth 3: Only people in permanent jobs get holiday pay
Wrong. Almost all workers, including atypical workers on zero hours contracts, agency workers and those who are on contracts which mean they work irregular hours, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year
Myth 4: I’ll get in trouble with my employer if I challenge my holiday pay entitlement
Wrong. It is your employer’s legal obligation to ensure you’re receiving the correct amount in holiday pay. Employees also have the right not to suffer any detriment for exercising their right to receive their holiday entitlement. If you think you’re not getting paid the correct holiday pay, speak to your employer.
More information on the government campaign can be found at www.gov.uk/holidaypay