The TUC (Trades Union Congress) has warned that over one in twelve UK workers are not getting their legal holiday entitlement.
As part of the Working Time Regulations 1998, full time workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid leave, which equates to around 28 days pro rata and including public holidays. But millions of people are missing out on their entitled holidays because of unrealistic goals set by their employer or are deliberately refused holiday requests, according to recent analysis published by the TUC.
The report states that the UK workforce is missing out on nearly £3bn of paid leave a year, with women more likely to be affected than men. 9.2% of female workers and 7.2% of male workers are not getting the leave they are entitled to.
The TUC reports that the main reasons people are missing out is due to impractical workloads which do not allow time to take leave, employers deliberately refusing holiday requests and employers not keeping up to date with the law. The TUC are urging the government to clamp down on employers who are not ensuring that staff take their holiday entitlement.
The government are consulting on enforcing holiday entitlements but have yet to announce any changes to legislation. This latest report and pressure from the TUC will place additional urgency on the government to find ways to protect UK workers from unfair employers.
In another recent report by employment and company review website Glassdoor, two in five UK employees said they had taken a maximum of half their annual leave entitlement during the last holiday year, with most employees taking only 62% of their allowance. And of those that did take annual leave, 23% regularly checked work emails and 15% continued to work for fear of not hitting their targets.
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady warned that millions of UK workers are at risk of burnout. Employers have no excuse for robbing staff of their well-earned leave. UK workers put in billions of hours of unpaid overtime as it is. The government must toughen up enforcement to stop bosses cheating staff out of their leave.