Our friends over at Contractor Voice have stepped up their campaign against holiday pay being unfairly retained from temporary and contract workers by their agency or umbrella company. They are in talks with specialist lawyers to seek financial redress for affected workers, and formal legal action seems inevitable. The legal experts have confirmed that the liability of such withholding sits with both the umbrellas and agencies who were complicit in the malpractice.
Following previous exposés there have been various legal arguments presented to justify companies with-holding holiday pay, including comments that workers don’t understand the law. True, many workers probably don’t understand the relevant legislation, but surely they shouldn’t need to? All the temps and contractors that we speak to simply want to get on with their work, and receive their rights without needing to become a legal expert on top.
In our opinion, the deliberate with-holding of holiday pay is morally indefensible, however it’s inevitable that lawyers will be galvanising themselves in preparation for defending the firms facing likely legal action. The potential liabilities are enormous and could be business-ending, so they will seek to protect themselves from ruin.
As we have previously advised, you must read all terms and conditions when being engaged by an agency or umbrella, and make sure you know how to receive the holiday that you’re entitled to. There can be contractual small-print which effectively gives the agency or umbrella permission to retain your holiday pay if you don’t claim it within a certain deadline. In this scenario there is a legal duty on the agency or umbrella to ensure you are aware of the holiday due to you, but the implementation of this is highly variable to say the least.
If you think your holiday may have been with-held by an umbrella or agency, we urge you to get in touch Contractor Voice immediately. It’s easy to register an interest on the website and get the support you need.