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January 2007

Changes to employees’ holiday entitlement are on their way

The Department for Trade and Industry has published its draft regulations regarding an employee’s entitlement to paid annual leave. The outcome for many will be an increase in their entitlement.

The proposals will amend the Working Time Regulations 1998. The principal objective is for employers to make paid time off for bank and public holidays additional to, rather than included in, the current four week holiday entitlement. There are several implications of the proposals which are carefully explained in UK Training's one-day seminar The Essential Guide to Employment Law.   The one day seminar, The Essential Guide to Employment Law, delivers everything you need to know when recruiting or managing people in the workplace - for only £159 per person.

You will need to consider very carefully the impact that these proposals may have on your organisation particularly if you are in the hospitality and retail sectors or have irregular work patterns. The draft regulations propose that the statutory entitlement to paid holiday will increase from 4 weeks to 4.8 weeks on 1st October 2007 and 5.6 weeks on 1st October 2008. For people who work full-time and whose normal working week is 5 days this can be simply interpreted as increasing to 24 days and then to 28 days.

Jim Fitzpatrick MPFor employers who already give their full time staff a minimum of 28 days paid holiday it might be easy to assume that there will not be any real ramifications. But be careful the proposals do delve into whether there should be the facility to provide for payments in lieu of taking holiday and at present concludes that there should not be, except on termination of employment. Jim Fitzpatrick, the Minister for Employment Relations, in the DTI’s publication Increasing the Holiday Entitlement has invited people to express their views by completing an online response form. To do this please click here.

The seminar, The Essential Guide to Employment Law, not only takes you through these proposals but also considers the impact of other recent changes to employment law such as the new Age Regulations 2006 and the Work and Families Act 2006. It carefully outlines, in an easy to understand format, all the employer’s legal duties and responsibilities when recruiting, managing and dismissing people in the workplace. It enables people to approach the issues with confidence and prevent any costly oversights.

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