The government has launched an advertising campaign to help workers learn more about their right to receive holiday pay.

In particular, the campaign entitled “It comes with the job” aims to tackle a lack of knowledge among workers about how many paid holidays they are entitled to take every year.

This follows on the heels of a poll of over 2,000 workers, commissioned by the government, which found that many UK workers do not understand their holiday pay rights, with half of those surveyed incorrectly believing that zero-hour contracted workers are never entitled to holiday pay.

Much of the UK working population are full-time, permanent employees on fixed hours and pay and receive the same pay even if they take holiday.

However, the situation is more complex for people who do not have regular hours or do not receive the same pay each week or month. A lack of knowledge about holiday pay means that some workers such as flexible workers, people on zero-hour contracts, agency workers, and temporary staff are more at risk of not receiving the holiday pay they are entitled to.

The scale of the problem was revealed in a report, Unpaid Britain, which estimated that one in 20 workers are not receiving the holiday pay they are entitled to, resulting in £1.5 billion of holiday pay going unpaid every year.

The government therefore recently published guidance providing advice to employers and workers on how to calculate holiday pay for workers who do not have fixed hours or pay (weekly LELR 610).

Finally, the government has also pledged to not only protect but to enhance workers’ rights after the UK withdrawal from the EU, which, one can only presume, includes the retention of holiday entitlement.

Neil Todd of Thompsons Solicitors commented: The “Unpaid Britain” report provided substantive evidence of a failure to afford holiday pay to workers on an industrial scale with many employers being repeat offenders. Recent government guidance is useful but what is really required to alleviate the problem is the implementation of more effective enforcement mechanisms. Furthermore workplaces with strong unions are much less likely to have workers treated in this way.   

To read more about this commitment, go to the government website.

Read the guidance published by the government here. 

To read the report, Unpaid Britain, go to the Trust for London website