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Workers denied their right to paid holiday, says Citizens Advice Cornwall

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Citizens Advice Cornwall helped 74 people with issues related to paid holiday between April 2016 and March 2017. This is an increase on the previous year when the charity helped 66 clients.

Nationwide research by Citizens Advice recently found that half of people on zero hours contracts, and 2-in-5 people on temporary contracts wrongly believe they are not entitled to paid holidays.

It also found examples of employers withholding paid holiday from carers working night shifts, workers who didn’t meet their sales targets, and staff who the employers had wrongly categorised as self-employed.

All workers are entitled to holiday pay regardless of their type of contract – whether it’s full-time, part-time, agency or casual work. You are entitled to up to 28 days holiday a year – depending how many days a week you work.

Citizens Advice Cornwall has helped people with various employment issues. In one case, a man working at a hotel in the county wasn’t given holiday pay for three years while working on a zero hours contract. He didn’t realise he was legally entitled to this pay.

CA Cornwall were able to negotiate 50% of his previous years’ entitlement and get his whole holiday pay for the current year, even though he’d already left the job.

The charity is now calling on the next government to ensure workers are aware of, and are able to take, the paid holiday that they are entitled to.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Neil Colquhoun, said: “Half of people on zero hours contracts, and many on temporary contracts, think they are not entitled to paid holiday. There is a lot of confusion and we have seen examples where employees have missed out through a lack of awareness of their rights.

“With more than half of employers having staff working shifts or variable hours, people need to be more aware of their rights over paid holiday. Anyone who is unsure of their situation or thinks they are missing out should contact us for help.

“But we also think there is a role for the government to help people get what they are entitled to by boosting enforcement and reducing the costs of employment tribunals.”

 

Citizens Advice Cornwall wants the Government to:

  • Combine the enforcement of employment rights into one powerful Fair Work Authority that can tackle employers that break the rules.
  • Place a £50 cap on Employment Tribunal fees so that people who are treated unfairly by their employer aren’t denied access to justice.
  • Define self-employment in law to prevent exploitative employers restricting people’s rights, including access to the minimum wage, holiday and sick pay.
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