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Are employees in Scotland more likely to receive their holiday entitlement?

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has recently published research indicating that nearly 1.7 million employees in the UK are not enjoying their statutory entitlement to 28 days’ paid holiday each year.

The statistics vary according to sector. Employees of households are most affected with 36.4% of employees missing out on paid holidays whilst only 1.9% of employees in the financial and insurance industry do not enjoy their full statutory entitlement. Interestingly, location appears to impact on statistics with, for example, 5.2% of employees in Scotland missing out on paid holidays compared with 7.5% in London. Generally the statistics suggest that Scottish employees are more likely to take their holiday entitlement than the rest of the UK.

In the UK every worker is entitled to 5.6 weeks’ (28 days) paid leave each year and this includes public holidays. This right comprises 4 weeks’ annual leave afforded by European legislation, plus an additional 1.6 weeks’ annual leave provided by UK legislation. Some employers do of course, offer more generous holiday rights under contract.

Holiday leave serves a dual purpose – to allow an employee rest from work duties and to allow an employee time for relaxation and leisure. Most employers will be aware of their obligations in relation to holidays.

Recent press reports suggest that the current Government may seek an opt-out from some European employment protection laws including the Working Time Directive as part of its renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the European Union. No. 10 has dismissed this as mere speculation.

It will be interesting to see how the area of holiday leave develops during the term of this Government.

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