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Agencies and accrued holidays

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Nyx, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Nyx

    Nyx Byte Poster

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    Hi All

    Looking for a bit of advice, maybe someone was in a similar situation.

    Have been working through an agency since May last year, same client, agency does the books so no Umbrella/ltd involved.
    Recently got a letter from them saying that we (temps) are accruing holidays now for this year 2013 and it will not be brought forward to 2014. Got a bit worried straight away as I haven't used up my entitlement before end of 2012 - I simply didn't know I was supposed to, just checked the contract and there's nothing about it. The agency basically says it is lost, it was my responsibility to use it and they have sent two letters last year stating this, however I didn't get any.

    Quick google tells me that other agencies operate on the same basis, not found any advice so far if I have anything to stand on legally. My main gripe is that they have not let me know how things work, obviously I would make sure not to lose any money. I have not taken a single day since beginning of Sep so I am missing a few hundred quid.... Worked before for a different one and was paid outstanding holiday at the end of year/contract, simply thought I can't lose it so it's sort of a bonus in case my contract ends.

    Willing go to CAB for advice, but I have heard a lot of mixed feedback regarding their knowledge on many issues, do you know of any better place to ask?

    Any help much appreciated,
    Nyx
     
  2. jvanassen

    jvanassen Kilobyte Poster

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    I've never worked for an agency but am onto my 4th job since leaving school and I've always known at all these company's the procedure was use your holiday or lose it. Sorry, I know you probably didn't want to hear that...
     
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  3. Nyx

    Nyx Byte Poster

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    I know that's the case in perm contracts. Not too sure if "holiday year" has to be Jan till Dec? Since I have not been informed this is the case (hard to prove that either way really) is it enough ground to fight for it?
     
  4. jvanassen

    jvanassen Kilobyte Poster

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    I'm probably not the best person to advise as I have no dealings with agency's but it makes sense that you could try play the card of you didn't know when the holiday year ended etc.
     
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  5. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    I would be asking to see proof that they supposedly sent previous letters also, and for evidence of any of their other clients receiving said letters etc.

    Trying to pull a fast one if you ask me so they don't have to pay you for it! Whether or not you have enough grounds to fight for it though I wouldn't like to say. CAB, or maybe one of these free hours with a solicitor maybe could help!?!
     
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  6. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    If you only have a statutory holiday entitlement (5.6 weeks per year), then you can't carry this over to a new year.
    If you didn't ask to take holidays, I'm not sure how much of a leg you have to stand on. I believe your holiday entitlement should be written in your terms of employment, which your employer should have given you within two months of you starting (I believe if you work for an agency they should give you this before you start work).
    You also need to get this clear in your head, you have not lost 'a few hundred quid', you have lost time. You would not get any more money than you already earned, you just didn't get the pleasure of watching day-time TV for a couple of weeks last year.

    It seems to me the only leg you have to stand on is if they did not outline your holiday entitlement in your terms of employment. The big question is, do you want to rock the boat, or do you chalk it up to experience and make sure you never get yourself into that situation again.
     
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  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    This, just because you didn't know doesn't mean it's the agencies fault. It should be your first priority to ensure you know all you need to know about sickness and holiday requirements, just because you didn't doesn't make it the agencies fault.

    Also because you get a holiday entitlement it means that's already taken into consideration where your pay is concerned, you don't get any additional pay if you don't take the holiday, you just don't get the holiday (you get paid for the time you're at work plus your holiday entitlement, this time you just worked extra for the fun of it ;)).

    Take it on the chin and learn from the experience, you won't make the same mistake next year.
     
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  8. Nyx

    Nyx Byte Poster

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    Thanks for the replies, it does make sense and confirms what I was able to dig out on the topic. Going to CAB this afternoon anyway to be sure.

    I don't agree with the money bit though, the amount of hours I do every week varies, so (as I have done before, on this and previous contracts) I could "use" my accrued hours as an extra to any working week, ie. 36 hours work + 4 or 10 or whatever hours of leave. I did not have to take time off to have it paid.
     
  9. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    As far as I'm aware your employers can only 'buy back' a percentage of your holidays every year (1.6 weeks iirc) meaning that you have 4 weeks that you 'use or lose'. Since you probably had some holidays (Xmas/boxing day perhaps) then you've already used some of your 1.6 weeks (the 5.6 weeks statutory is 4 weeks leave, 1.6 weeks bank holidays). Whether your employer wants to buy back some of your holidays by giving you some extra cash instead is entirely down to contract, and not a legal right. They are perfectly within their rights (as far as I'm aware) to not offer this.

    As I said, I think the only recourse you have is if they have not stated your holiday entitlement in your contract/terms of employment. However, this may only put the company in a bad spot, I'm not sure if, legally, they have to recompense you for your lost holidays. Most legal challenges would look at how much you have done to help yourself, and the fact that you didn't ask about holiday entitlement, or ask for any holidays at all, for over 7 months isn't going to make you look like you gave it much thought until it was too late for the company to accommodate your wishes. Even if the company agreed to give you your full entitlement, you only have another couple of months to take 4+ weeks holiday (by then you will have been there a year if I read your first post correctly), and that might not be possible.

    Seeking more professional advice is the best course of action, but think carefully before confronting your employers. There are plenty of people looking for jobs just now....
     
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  10. Nyx

    Nyx Byte Poster

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    Not that it matters much but it's not entirely correct, I have used my accrued hols at the beginning of September, so have missed whatever I have had accrued since then till end of year. My employer (I mean the agency's client) isn't really involved, they would go an extra mile to help me in any case - they seem to feel a bit guilty that they can not take me on but that's not relevant at all. Chances that I would get more work from the agency are very slim as they in general don't do IT contracts.

    Cab referred me to a different organization, hopefully I will know more soon.
     

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