It is both shocking and surprising to hear that an estimated one in 20 employees do not get paid holidays, while one in 10 does not receive a payslip.
The figures come from a study by the Resolution Foundation think tank that they say reveals the extent of illegal labour practices in the UK.
According to the report workers in hotels, restaurants and small companies with fewer than 25 staff miss out more than others on legal workplace entitlements.
Similarly, those on zero-hours or temporary contracts can be hit hard, as can younger workers aged under 25 who are twice as likely to be paid less than the minimum wage.
It is true that in the UK we have a lot of rules governing the rights and entitlements of employees and, whether knowingly or as a result of ignorance, employers can quite easily get it wrong.
In my experience employers can tie themselves in knots, interpreting the regulations in an overcomplicated way.
Simple is usually best. To get the basics right my advice to employers would be to make sure the following is in place:
- Statement of terms
All workers (not just employees) must be provided with a statement of terms within two months of starting a job. The terms should set out details relating to working days and hours, paid leave entitlement, pay and benefits, any probationary period and any training requirements.
Paid annual leave is a legal right that an employer must provide.
Payslips must be given to all workers (not just employees). The total number of hours worked must be stated on the payslip.
- Holiday pay
The statutory annual leave entitlement for employees who work a five-day week is a minimum of 28 days or 5.6 weeks per year. Part-time staff are also entitled to 5.6 weeks paid leave pro-rata, but this will amount to fewer days.
- Minimum wage
From 1 April 2019 the national minimum wage increased to:
£8.21/hour for workers aged 25 and over
£7.70/hour for 21 to 24-year-olds
£6.16/hour for 18 to 20-year-olds
£4.35/hour for 16 to 17-year-olds
£3.90/hour for under 19s in the first year of an apprenticeship
In my view there is no need for employers to fall foul of the law. All you need to do is invest a little time in establishing good processes to ensure the essential steps set out above are all observed.
If you’re concerned about whether you are meeting all of the employer requirements or if you require advice on any aspect of employment law, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01782 205000 to book an appointment.