New benefits for short-term workers

Under the amended legislation, workers will receive one-twelfth of their annual holiday per each month worked. Previously workers could only qualify for paid leave after working a 13 week stretch at a company.

The amendments also give employees the right to compensation for any untaken leave on termination of employment.

The changes were announced by employment relations minister Alan Johnson following weeks of consultation after a landmark European Court of Justice ruling in June in a case involving the government and the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph & Theatre Union.

In its ruling in favour of BECTU the court said: ‘It follows that the entitlement of every worker to paid annual leave must be regarded as a particularly important principle of community social law from which there can be no derogations.’

Johnson said the government was pleased to announce that the new regulations would bring the UK into line with the terms of the European Court of Justice judgement.

He said the new regulations would not affect payment of any untaken leave at the end of an employment contract. ‘It remains the case that employers and workers will be able to agree on arrangements for taking leave, in line with the notice periods set by the Regulations,’Johnson explained.

TUC general secretary John Monks welcomed the amendments, saying: ‘This is good news for particularly vulnerable groups of workers. New starters and those on short term contracts will now get their holiday entitlement by right, instead of having to serve time for it.’

The amended rules come into effect on 25 October.


DTI’s guidance to amendments for working time regulations

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