Holiday pay proposal for staff on short-term contracts

Companies
may be forced to provide holiday pay for staff who have been employed for less
than 13 weeks if a proposal put forward by a European legal expert becomes law.

The
advocate-general for the European Court of Justice has said that it’s unlawful
for workers to be denied paid holiday if they have been working for under 13
weeks.

BECTU
has brought a claim to the High Court arguing that the UK Government was acting
unlawfully by denying workers on short-term contracts paid holiday.

If
the European Court of Justice rules in favour of the advocate-general’s
opinion, the decision would prove binding and lead to a change in law in the
UK.

“This
could mean increased costs for employers having to give holiday pay to
temporary workers,” said Jonathan Chamberlain, senior employment lawyer at
Wragge & Co.

Jill
Kelly, a partner at Thomson, Snell & Passmore said there could be serious
implications for the Government.

She
commented, “If the ECJ follows this decision, the government will be forced to
amend the

Working
Time regulations to give all workers, regardless of length of service, the
right to paid leave.”

“It
will also be possible for public sector workers with less than 13 weeks service
to bring claims now for their holiday entitlement.”

www.europa.eu.int

Karen
Higginbottom

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