Half of people on zero hours contracts and two in five people on temporary contracts wrongly believe they are not entitled to paid holidays, Citizens Advice reveals. The charity is calling on the next government to ensure workers are aware of, and are able to take, the paid holiday that they are entitled to.
Citizens Advice found that while some employers are misleading employees about holiday entitlement due to bosses’ ignorance, others are deliberately flouting the law and are exploiting workers’ confusion.
In the last financial year almost 185,000 people got help from Citizens Advice on employment issues — with 10,000 cases specifically about paid holiday. Over the same period the Citizens Advice webpage on paid holiday had 260,000 visitors.
Citizens Advice is calling on the government to:
- Combine the enforcement of employment rights into one powerful Fair Work Authority that can tackle employers that break the rules.
- Place a £50 cap on Employment Tribunal fees so that people who are treated unfairly by their employer aren’t denied access to justice.
- Define self-employment in law to prevent exploitative employers restricting people’s rights, including access to the minimum wage, holiday and sick pay.
Citizens Advice Chief Executive, Gillian Guy, said: “Half of people on zero hours contracts, and many on temporary contracts, think they are not entitled to paid holiday. Thousands are missing out on rights they are entitled to due to a lack of awareness, confusion and in some cases, deliberate dirty tactics by employers.
“With more than half of employers having staff working shifts or variable hours, action needs to be taken now to protect workers’ rights.”
For information and advice, contact Citizens Advice Bassetlaw on their telephone service, 03444 111 444. A drop-in service is available at the Worksop office based in The Annexe, Queens Building, Potter Street, Worksop (next to the Savoy Cinema) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9.30am to 3.00pm and on Fridays from 9.30am to 1.00pm and at the Retford outreach office, 17b The Square, Retford on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.00am to 2.00pm.