Analysis by IWORK suggests over a third of temporary workers may be unaware of their holiday rights and therefore unlikely to claim them.
Temporary workers may be missing out on at least £97m worth of paid holiday annually, according to independent work champions IWORK.
It bases the figure on someone earning the average salary of £26k being entitled to annual holiday worth over £3k, and applying that to just 2% of the UK’s 1.6m temps.
IWORK reckons, from its work, that at least a third of temps are unaware of their statutory right to paid holiday, which means they are unlikely to be claiming it.
It says lack of awareness is only one side of the problem because of the nature of temp work which is usually on demand, making it difficult to take paid leave mid-assignment. In addition, temps usually move immediately from one short-term assignment to another leaving no time available for taking paid leave.
IWORK says the practicalities are exacerbated by recruitment agencies and umbrella companies that hide the fact that temps have a right to paid holiday. Whilst this could be a simple omission by the agency and/or umbrella, it believes some deliberately exploit their temps by implementing specific – but not illegal – processes which make it difficult to claim.
It states: “The scale of exploitation taking place is unforgivable so our holiday pay campaign is essential to reach those affected.”
Meanwhile, the European Parliament have agreed to draft gig working rules ahead of negotiations with EU countries over the details. Under the regulations gig workers could either be an employed worker with related rights or be genuinely self-employed and able to determine how to carry out the service, with the onus would be on the platform company to prove that it does not employ the worker in the event of a dispute. The European Commission is also seeking a ban on algorithms taking important decisions and want EU member states to ensure there is human oversight on all decisions that significantly affect working conditions.