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Plans to shut loophole will see rise in annual leave

Approximately 2 million full-time workers look set to reap the benefits of a legal loophole being closed next October, as plans to increase annual leave entitlement to 28 days per year draw closer.

Responding to employer’s claims that the extra allowance would prove too expensive, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) contend that the additional rise is “completely affordable”, and will bring huge benefits to workers and employers alike.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Increasing the minimum amount of holiday leave is another step down the road to a better work/life balance and that is good news for workers and for their bosses”.

In their submission to the Government’s consultation, the TUC argue that employers should “welcome” the new proposals, pointing out that staff were more likely to remain with bosses who provided a decent salary and benefits package, and that those workers with lower holiday entitlements were less productive.

Furthermore, they cite the implementation of 1999’s working time rules giving all full-time employees a minimum of four weeks holiday a year. This alone saw 6 million workers benefit from higher holiday allowances, which the TUC claim made no “negative impact on the economy”.

“Everyone needs a decent time off work if they are to avoid feeling overworked and stressed. The increase in annual leave will give employees time to recharge their batteries and return to work refreshed”.

In a separate statement however, Mr Barber expressed his concern over the release of recent job figures, saying: “These are worrying labour market figures. The unemployment level and rate have again increased. The employment rate has fallen and the number of economically inactive people who want work has risen”.

“Manufacturing continues to shed jobs, with 90,000 gone in the last year. While the scale of change is far from dramatic, the direction gives cause for concern and reinforces TUC support for lower interest rates and an industrial strategy to boost manufacturing”, he added.

Vijay Pattni.

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