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UK workers bottom of the 'leave' tables

Beach
Date 13 Aug 2007
Author The Editor
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UK workers don't spend as much time at the beach

Workers in the UK will still get less holiday than their Continental colleagues even when new laws come into place, a report has revealed. At the moment, the minimum entitlement is 20 days a year. Some firms count Bank Holidays as part of the 20 days, leaving their workers with just 12 days of official leave. The number is set to increase to at least 28 days by April 2009.

However, a study by Incomes Data Services (IDS) showed that workers in other EU countries had more breaks. Germany tops the league with 39 days a year, including public holidays, while workers in Austria have 38 days and public holidays. In Sweden, the figure is 36 while it is 35 in Slovakia, Luxembourg and France, 34 in Portugal, 33 in the Czech Republic and Slovenia, 32 in Italy, Spain and Greece and 31 in Poland and Finland.

Ken Mulkearn of IDS said: "The recent legislation is likely to have little impact on those employers who already offer 20 days' leave plus Bank Holidays. The phasing-in of the changes will help soften the blow. The new regulations are clearly aimed at preventing the practice of including the current eight Bank Holidays in the minimum entitlement, whereby some employees effectively got just 12 days' annual leave."

IDS said that even after the changes, the UK would still be joint bottom of the EU league table for holidays with the Netherlands.

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