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• 7.1% of workers in the South West not getting leave they’re entitled to
• More people taking holiday pay claims to tribunal since fees abolished

New TUC analysis published today (Monday) reveals that 1 in 14 workers in the South West are not getting their legal holiday entitlement.

The analysis estimates that nearly 166,000 employees are not getting the minimum paid leave entitlement they are due.

Across the UK, 1.96 million workers are not getting enough leave with more than a million (1.145 million) not getting any paid leave at all.

The analysis also shows that in the UK:

  • Women workers (8.3%) are worse affected than men (5.9%).
  • The sectors with the highest numbers of staff losing out on their legal holiday paid entitlement are education (341,000), retail (302,000), and health and social care (264,000).

Holiday pay and employment tribunal

The number of people taking unpaid holiday claims has more than doubled since tribunal fees were abolished in 2017, following a legal victory by UNISON.

Additionally, the majority of holiday pay cases are found in the employee’s favour, with values ranging from £18.94 to £11,000. 

The TUC South West says the main reasons people are missing out on holiday leave and pay are:

  • Workers being set unrealistic workloads that do not allow time to take leave.
  • Employers deliberately denying holiday requests and managing out people’s leave.
  • Employers not keeping up to date with the law.

Minimum holiday entitlements are a vital part of reducing overwork, says the TUC South West. People who work excessive hours are at risk of developing heart disease, stress, mental illness, strokes, and diabetes, which also impacts on co-workers, friends, and relatives.

Nationally, the TUC is calling for HMRC to be granted new powers to clamp down on employers who deny staff their statutory holiday entitlement. This would include the power to ensure that workers are fully compensated for missed holidays.

There is no excuse for robbing staff of their leave.

TUC regional secretary for the South West Nigel Costley said:

“Every worker deserves a break to spend time off with friends and family. But millions are missing out on the paid leave they are owed. 

“British workers put in billions of pounds worth of unpaid overtime as it is. Employers have no excuse for robbing staff of their leave.

“The government must toughen up enforcement to stop bosses cheating working people out of their holidays. And ministers must not resurrect tribunal fees which stopped people enforcing their rights.”

Editors note

- TUC affiliate Unison scored a legal victory at the Supreme Court and overturned tribunal fees: https://www.unison.org.uk/news/article/2017/07/tribunal-fees-victory/

Number of UK employees getting too few holidays:

Too few holidays

% of workers

All employees

1,960,000

7.1

Female

1,136,000

8.3

Male

823,000

5.9

Source: LFS Q4 2018

Regional breakdown - employees with too few holidays

Regions

Too few hols

% of workers

North East

78,000

7.2

North West

167,000

5.6

Yorkshire and Humber

148,000

6.7

East Midlands

151,000

7.4

West Midlands

174,000

7.4

Eastern

201,000

7.7

London

288,000

7.5

South East

277,000

7.2

South West

166,000

7.1

Wales

93,000

7.1

Scotland

149,000

6.3

Northern Ireland

66,000

9.2

UK

1,960,000

7.1

Source: LFS Q4 2018

- British workers put in more than £32 billion worth of unpaid overtime last year – to see our release on this follow this link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/workers-uk-put-more-%C2%A332-billion-worth-unpaid-overtime-last-year-tuc-analysis

- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.