Millions of workers denied basic rights such as holiday pay, says think tank

16 September 2019

The research found those aged over 65 are least likely to receive holiday pay

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Millions of British workers are missing out on basic legal rights such as holiday pay and minimum wage, according to a new report.

Think tank the Resolution Foundation says that around one in 20 workers do not receive any holiday entitlement, while around one in 10 do not receive a payslip.

Its research found that those over 65 are least likely to receive holiday pay, despite being legally entitled to at least 28 days a year, or pro-rata for part-time workers.

Meanwhile, workers aged 25 and under are almost twice as likely be underpaid the minimum wage as any other age group.

The think tank says the report highlights the scale of labour market violations across the UK.

HM Revenue and Customs identified a record 200,000 cases of workers not receiving the minimum wage as a result of its enforcement work last year.

At least a quarter of those earning within 5p of the minimum wage are paid less than the legal minimum, research from the Resolution Foundation has found.

Almost one in 10 workers do not receive a legally required payslip, making it hard for workers to calculate whether they’re receiving the right level of pay, pension and holiday entitlement and check for deductions.

Workers aged under 25 and over 65 are the most likely not to receive a payslip, according to the research.

Those working in the hotels and restaurants sector are the most likely to miss out on minimum legal workplace entitlements.

One in seven workers in the sector report receiving no holiday entitlement, three times the rate across the rest of the economy, while around one in seven do not receive a pay slip.

Workers in small firms on zero-hours and temporary contracts are most likely to miss out on pay slips and holiday leave.

Lindsay Judge, senior economic analyst at the Resolution Foundation, says: “The UK has a multitude of rules to govern its labour market – from maximum hours to minimum pay. But these rules can only become a reality if they are properly enforced.

“Labour market violations remain far too common, with millions of workers missing out on basic entitlements to a pay slip, holiday entitlement and the minimum wage."

Tackling bad employers

Since the financial crisis, millions more people have joined the 'gig economy', which has left them at risk of being exploited by employers.

They are often on zero-hours contracts and do not receive rights such as sickness or holiday pay.

The government has taken steps to increase both the resources and powers of bodies such as HMRC and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Agency (GLAA) in recent years.

However, the UK still largely relies on individuals to hold non-compliant firms to account, with the Employment Tribunal (ET) system receiving over 100,000 applications last year.

Ms Judge says: “The government’s welcome proposal to create a new single enforcement agency should leave it better placed to tackle these labour market violations than the multiple bodies currently operating, as long as it’s properly empowered and resourced.

“Our analysis suggests that while violations take place across the labour market, the government should also prioritise investigations into sectors like hotels and restaurants, along with firms who make large use of atypical employment contracts, as that’s where abuse is most prevalent.”

Comments

and now the Tories want to…

and now the Tories want to use Brexit as an excuse to cull more worker rights - sooner Labour gets in the better. How anyone who votes Tory can live with themselves is beyond me - blood is on the hands of the voters who keep putting in the Nasty party which is causing mass poverty, homelessness and over 100,000 and counting of ill/disabled people thanks to their hostile environment for anyone buy the 1% and their donors

Rights employee

What employment rights will we lose

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