Employers welcome two-stage implementation of extended holiday entitlement in the UK

Employers’ groups have broadly welcomed the government’s approach to implementing new holiday entitlements for workers.

The regulations increase the minimum holiday entitlement from 20 days a year to 24 days this October, and to 28 days from April 2009, six months later than originally proposed.

There is also a so-called ‘early implementation incentive’ whereby employers will be exempt from the regulations if they already comply with the policy aims.

Peter Schofield, director of legal and employment affairs at manufacturers’ organisation the EEF, said: “The government should be applauded for recognising that there is no need to add to the burden on good employers who are already meeting the aim of the regulations.

“This is a perfect example of better regulation rewarding good practice with a lighter regulatory regime.”

CBI deputy director-general John Cridland said the government was right to introduce the extension of statutory annual leave gradually over the next two years

“A ‘big-bang’ approach would have been more painful for employers,” he said. “Many businesses – particularly retailers and health and social care providers – will welcome the decision to extend the phasing-in period as it will help them change shift patterns and absorb transition costs.”

The regulations also give employers the option to buy back extra holiday, with the agreement of staff, and pay them more wages instead.

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