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Thousands ‘are denied paid holiday’

Thousands ‘are denied paid holiday’

Rogue employers are denying thousands of workers their legal right to paid holidays, a report has revealed.

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) said it had handled almost 90,000 cases in the last three years where staff were forced to work without breaks, or were told they could only take unpaid leave.

Some of the cases involved care home workers, hairdressers, bar staff, cleaners and shop employees, and the majority were women in part-time jobs.

In one case, a 22-year-old bar worker from Berkshire had only been allowed one week's holiday in 18 months – and that was unpaid.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "The vast majority of employers – large and small – try hard to meet their legal obligations to their workforce, and most go way beyond the minimum statutory requirements. Sadly, however, there are still far too many rogue employers and employment agencies prepared to flout the law and profit from exploitation.

"As a result, tens of thousands of the most vulnerable workers in the UK economy do not benefit fully from the legal framework of fairness in the workplace. They include many of the restaurant and bar staff, cleaners, shop workers, clerical staff, builders, decorators and care workers that the rest of us rely on.

"Left unchecked, the behaviour of such rogue employers creates injustice not only for the workers they exploit, but also for law-abiding employers who quite rightly want – and are entitled to expect – a level playing field on which to compete fairly, within the law.

"A single Fair Employment Agency with powers to monitor compliance and enforce basic workplace rights – including the right to paid holiday – would simplify the enforcement framework, enhance the protection of vulnerable workers, create the level playing field sought by good employers, and provide better value for money for the taxpayer by being more efficient and reducing the number of employment tribunal claims."

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