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Employers have been called on by the TUC to ensure that workers do not lose out on the Royal wedding bank holiday – and the Government has been urged to change the law in readiness for the Queen’s diamond jubilee next year.
The TUC claims a minority of employers are intending to treat the Royal wedding on April 29th as just another working day.
Unite says at least 115 NHS trusts have refused to offer bank holiday pay rates for the special bank holiday.
The previous government increased the national minimum statutory paid annual leave entitlement from four weeks to 5.6 weeks and stipulated the increased entitlement included bank holidays – this was to help workers who would not otherwise get any time off for bank holidays.
However, no provision was made to increase this entitlement in years when a special bank holiday is called, leaving workers to rely on their bosses to choose to offer an extra day’s leave or overtime for those that need to work.
But there is still time for employers to grant the special bank holiday and give staff paid leave on April 29th, says the TUC.
For those who are working that day, including retail and emergency services staff, the TUC is calling on employers to offer an extra day’s leave and their contracted overtime rate.
The TUC has written to Business Secretary Vince Cable calling on him to change the law on special bank holidays by making a simple amendment to the working time regulations.
Although it’s too late for the Royal wedding, the change would ensure the same problem does not arise again for the bank holiday to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee on 5 June 2012.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: ”While most people are likely to get paid leave on April 29th as a result of their employer’s goodwill, a significant minority of tight-fisted companies have decided to ignore the national mood and insist on keepiing staff chained to their desks whlie everyone else is enjoying the bank holiday.
”Not offering paid leave or overtime will rebound on employers as they risk demoralising their workforce and damaging their reputation amongst their customers.
”We have asked the Government to raise the minimum standard for paid holidays to ensure workers are legally entitled to receive at least a day off in lieu if they are asked to work on the Queen’s diamond jubilee holiday next year. That would be a popular measure that would help millions more people celebrate the Queen’s jubilee.”