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August Bank Holiday – paid or unpaid?
Check your Employment Contract now!

With the Late Summer Holiday fast approaching (August 27th), millions of workers are still unsure whether it counts as annual leave or an unpaid holiday.

Legal experts on DAS 24-hour helplines warn that millions of Contracts of Employment in retail, hotels and catering -- as well as those for people in seasonal trades or on the minimum wage -- need redrafting. Everybody will soon have the right to paid time off for Bank Holidays and those most likely to be affected are these least-advantaged workers.

As many as six million workers were promised up to eight days' extra annual holiday under measures confirmed by the Government to stop firms counting Bank Holidays as part of annual leave. The first four extra days do not come into force until October and the other four by April 2009, six months later than originally planned.

Yet British workers still have fewer days' annual holiday than elsewhere in Europe. The EU average is 10.8 days of public holiday, with Spain and Portugal having 14 against Britain's eight. Taking public holidays and minimum leave entitlements together, the best countries to be are Greece, Austria and Finland, with 37, 38 and 39 days' annual holidays respectively.

“There was nothing in previous law that compelled employers to grant paid time-off for Bank Holidays”, says Rhian Gait-Parker, DAS Advice Services Manager. “Workers who did not benefit from the extra eight statutory holidays will do so under the changes to the Work & Families Act”.

For free advice, anyone with legal expenses insurance -- attached to their home, car or business insurances -- can check with legal advisors on 24-hour helplines.


August 2007

For further information please contact either:

Martin Francis, Albion International Communications, on:
Tel: 020 8668 3074
Mobile: 00 423 663 0884 34


Allan Jarrett, Communications Officer, DAS on:
Tel: 0117 934 2060

DAS Switchboard: 0117 934 2000

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