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Contractual entitlement - time off between xmas and new year

(10 Posts)
Becky321 Mon 29-Nov-10 16:08:18

My contract says that my holiday entitlement is 28 days (including public holidays) and that our office is closed for the period between Christmas and New Year, and that we get this in addition to our entitlement.

Now my employers seem to be wanting to take this extra few days off us. Can they do this if our contracts explicitly say that we get this as holiday?

Thanks for any help!


StillSquiffy Mon 29-Nov-10 16:34:03

Generally contracts should only be changed with the agreement of staff.

Saying that, most employers go ahead and make tweaks like this to contracts all the time. In theory all the employees could get together and say they don't agree, but it won't make much difference because there is not much in practice that employees can do about stuff like this aprat from complain - employers will still go ahead and issue the new terms anyway. (one option for employees is to take action if they are in a recognised union).

you could try to see if staff could get together to try to negotiate a compromise but even this might not work, especially if the company argues that it needs to cut back in this way in order to maintain efficiencies in current economic climate.

I'm not a lawyer by the way, so take the above with a pinch of salt - there may be some case law around this and I am sure RB or Flowery will be able to add more flavour

flowerybeanbag Mon 29-Nov-10 19:35:46

Are they trying to do this for this year? Or is it something they are changing in advance of Christmas 2011?

hairyfairylights Mon 29-Nov-10 19:47:51

They can consult, and negotiate, and eventually impose this, but they need to do it in correct timescales.

Becky321 Mon 29-Nov-10 21:14:15

It's not for this year. I've just heard a rumour (to be confirmed, but I'm pretty sure my sources are reliable!) that it's going to happen next year.

They've just introduced a new holiday reward where you get extra days for long service - it seems like it's all going to be eaten up in the new rules - what's the point?!

Thank you, I will discuss it with some of the others when it's officially announced.


hairyfairylights Mon 29-Nov-10 21:15:47

The point is they are focussing on the needs of the company, and during hard economic times, that's sometimes what needs to happen, to protect jobs!

flowerybeanbag Mon 29-Nov-10 21:19:46

If your contract explicitly says you get those extra, then removing them would be a change to your terms and conditions and therefore requires your consent. In practice as long as they consult first, explain their proposals and go through appropriate steps, the bottom line is they can impose it eventually, yes.

If there are going to be extra days for long service, presumably the number who will actually lose out will be smaller anyway. Would you lose out?

Becky321 Tue 30-Nov-10 10:46:54

I will ‘break even’ if it comes in next year (I get 3 extra days for long service, but will have to use them all over Christmas). It depends on when Christmas falls as to how many extra days we usually get. People who haven’t been there so long will end up with 3 fewer days, as they will get none for long service, but will have to lose the 3 over Christmas).

It seems an odd way to do it – to get everyone’s hopes up by announcing extra holiday and then to take it off us with the other hand a few months later! I will put my point across, but I guess I will have to sign if push comes to shove.

I don’t mind them protecting jobs obviously, but it always seems to me that it is easy to use the recession as an excuse to make cuts, yet when we’re doing well it doesn’t work the other way around. Thank you very much for the advice, this is a very helpful forum! smile

StillSquiffy Wed 01-Dec-10 07:20:36

Extra days for long service hmm That sounds like indirect age discrimination to me?

flowerybeanbag Wed 01-Dec-10 07:29:53

Squiffy as long as the service requirement is 5 years or less, or, if more, the employer reasonably believes there is business benefit, long service holiday is ok.

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