Holiday allowance: the UNVARNISHED facts

I wish to draw attention to the fact that the advice given in the column 'Watch It' by David Smith (MTJ Extra, August) is misleading. The article states that: "From October it will no longer be possible for employees to have Bank Holidays counted as part of their annual leave entitlement."

Reference to the Businesslink website mentioned in the article makes the position from 1 October clearer: employees will be entitled to 24 days (if they work a five-day week) which can include Bank Holidays. Therefore, employers who currently include these in the annual holiday entitlement, and give less than 20 days annual leave, will have to give their staff an extra four days holiday from 1 October and a further four days from April 2009, amounting to a total holiday entitlement of 28 days.

Basically, from April 2009,

workers will have to have 28 days holiday including the eight Bank Holidays, so for employers who do not include these currently, there will be no change, as long as the contract of employment is amended to reflect this fact. It is perfectly legitimate to include the Bank Holidays in the new entitlement.

Your article also seems to

indicate that the minimum 20 days affects both full- and part-time workers. It should be made clear that part-time workers

receive holiday pro rata and not 20 days irrespective of their working hours.

On a different matter, the jokes on the back page of the same issue were wrongly attributed to myself! My standard of joke-telling is bad, but not quite that bad.

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