19/12/2003

TUC slams Britain's 'Scrooge bosses'

The TUC has slammed Britain's ‘Scrooge bosses’ who they claim will send more than three million employees home on Christmas Day with no holiday pay, according to an analysis of official figures released today.

The research, part of the TUC’s ‘It’s about time’ campaign to "end the UK’s long-hours culture", also showed that three-quarters of a million people will work on Christmas Day with no guarantee of extra pay and over 35,000 employees will work for nothing.

Half the people working on Christmas Day are either in the nursing and social care sector or work in hotels and restaurants, the TUC said.

The UK is the only country in Europe where employees do not have the right to holiday pay if they take bank holidays off and where companies are able to include bank holidays in the 20 days annual leave their staff are legally entitled do, the congress said.

The TUC is calling for the European Commission's review on working conditions to offer UK employees and families, among other things, a legal right to holiday pay if bank holidays are not worked and a legal right to take at least four weeks annual paid leave plus paid bank holidays

The organisation will also urge the UK government to introduce three new bank holidays to bring the UK in line with the European average.

Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, said: "It’s about time the season’s grafters got paid more for working over the Christmas holidays. And it’s about time Scrooge bosses had to give holiday pay to people who take time off work to enjoy the festivities.

"A bit of goodwill from the government and from Europe would make Christmas a lot merrier for millions of UK employees and their families."

(gmcg)

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