Companies ease rules on holidays

The number of employers with regulations over when annual leave can be taken has steadily dropped since 1989. In 1992 the figure was 60 per cent, falling to 51 per cent in 1996.

The figures, published in IRS Employment Review, are based on a survey of 200 employers in 1989 and 1992, 120 in 1996 and 110 in 1999.

Of the 110 respondents questioned in 1999, 15 operate workplace shutdowns. Nine of these are manufacturing companies with most shutdowns taking place during summer and Christmas. The others are five public service employers are a mining/quarrying company.

Other restrictions tend to govern duration of holiday. Only three of the sample specify a minimum holiday period.

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