Deputy’s New Study Reveals Lack of Clarity on Holiday Pay for UK Hospitality Workers

by Isioma Daniel, 2 minutes read
HOME blog new research by deputy reveals lack of clarity on holiday pay for uk hospitality workers

Deputy’s latest research has uncovered a concerning trend: over a third of UK hospitality workers are unsure about their legal entitlement to paid annual leave. 

Despite the consultation on calculating holiday entitlement for part-year and irregular hours workers coming to a close six months ago, the UK Government has yet to respond. This lack of clarity has led to confusion among workers and potential missed holiday pay opportunities. 

According to our State of Shift Work report, which surveyed almost 2000 shift workers in the UK, 35% of hospitality workers are uncertain about their legal entitlement to paid annual leave. Many believe they could be missing out on holiday pay altogether.

The study also highlights that 26% of UK hospitality workers lack clear knowledge about their legal entitlements for paid annual leave. Shockingly, 9% have no idea at all. Less than half of the respondents (47%) expressed complete confidence that they’re getting all the paid annual leave they’re entitled to, with 35% less confident, 10% unsure, 4% not confident at all and 4% believing they’re not entitled to any paid leave. 

Young workers, particularly Gen Z, seem uninformed about their holiday pay entitlements. 14% of Gen Z workers mistakenly believe they aren’t entitled to paid leave. 

The Harpur Trust v Brazel Supreme Court Judgment prompted the Government consultation in July 2022. The Supreme Court set the holiday pay calculation as ‘average weekly pay from the previous 52 weeks, excluding weeks not worked, multiplied by 5.6 weeks’. 

Jon Wilson, SVP of EMEA at Deputy, emphasises the need for clarity about holiday pay. 

“Our State of Shift Work report highlights the high levels of confusion that exist when it comes to holiday pay. The practical implementation of this has been challenging for employers nationwide, especially when calculating holiday pay for new starters and those with highly irregular hours. Businesses like ours have now built this into our technology to automate the process for our customers, which solves the practical, administrative challenges, but the calculation has also been challenged as unfair to those with different working patterns. The purpose of the Government consultation was to address this point.

“In the meantime, some employers who might be waiting for the consultation findings may not have introduced the new calculation yet. If that’s the case, their staff are missing out on their holiday pay, and the employers are at risk of tribunal claims for unlawful deduction of wages. We urgently need clarity from the Government for the sake of both workers and employers.” 

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