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Workers Entitled To Compensation If Not Allowed To Take Holidays

December 4th, 2017

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has last week (November 29th) ruled that workers are able to claim compensation if a company doesn’t allow them to take holidays.

According to the Guardian, the ruling comes as part of a long-running legal battle brought by a UK window salesman known as Mr King against The Sash Window Workshop over his contract that failed to specify whether he was entitled to paid leave or not.

Mr King had been paid on commission only and in his contract was defined as self-employed. But an employment tribunal found that he should have been viewed as a full-time member of staff.

The ECJ noted: “A worker must be able to carry over and accumulate unexercised rights to paid annual leave when an employer does not put that worker in a position in which he is able to exercise his right to paid annual leave.”

General secretary of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain Dr Jason Moyer-Lee commented on the news, saying that the judgement is a “game changer” for the gig economy. He went on to note that the ruling should also serve as a reminder of the possible disaster for worker rights that could be on the way as a result of Brexit.

Currently, employees in the gig economy are considered independent contractors, which means they aren’t protected against unfair dismissal, have no rights to paid holiday, sickness pay, no right to receive the national minimum wage and have no rights to redundancy payments.

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