UK leave scheme: are you still entitled to public holidays and leave?


Many British workers found themselves on leave (photo: Getty Images / Cavan Images RF)

Easter holiday weekend, like everything else, will be seriously affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

With the vacation plans canceled and severe lockout restrictions in place, which means people can’t leave their homes for non-essential reasons, it won’t be the long weekend that many had originally planned.

While some lament the loss of their vacation plans, others expressed concern after being suddenly catapulted into precarious financial circumstances, either by losing business or because of being put on leave.

The latest analysis from the Resolution Foundation predicts that more than nine million workers will be put on leave as part of the government’s job retention program.

If you are on vacation, are you still entitled to vacation or statutory holidays – and will your salary be affected?

Here’s what we know.

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Are you still entitled to statutory holidays or annual leave if you have been put on leave?

Although the government has not yet clarified matters, it is understood that if you are on leave, you are still entitled to statutory holidays and vacation leave, and taking them will not “break” your leave.

The government has remained largely silent on this issue, however, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) offers non-binding advice.

They write: “If an employee or worker is temporarily sent home because there is no work and the employer intends to claim wages under the coronavirus retention program (‘on leave’), he can always request and take his vacation in the usual way. . This includes holidays. “

British law makes no difference between annual and public holidays, as they are both included in the 5.6 weeks of compulsory leave for employees.

Most workers across the country worked from home during the lockout (Photo: Getty Images)

The National Law Review states, “Employees and workers may still be required to use a paid holiday for holidays, including when they are on leave. If holidays are granted in addition to 5.6 weeks of paid vacation, employees and workers should check their contract or speak to their employer about taking this vacation. “

They also write that earnings should not be affected and that people should not be paid less than usual if they take vacations.

Their opinion states: “Case law has repeatedly made it clear that an employee’s statutory vacation pay should correspond to normal pay based on actual work periods. It should not be based on or take into account periods of non-work.

“Applying this principle would mean that an employee taking vacation, including a holiday, while on leave should receive his” normal pay “based on what he would be paid if he worked as usual these days. “

If in doubt, it is advisable to contact your employer.

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