Bank holiday entitlement...
April 18, 2006 11:51 PM   Subscribe

I am a shift worker in the UK. Am I entitled to a day off in lieu if a bank holiday falls on a rest or non-work day?

I work on a helpdesk on the following shift pattern :

4x12 hour days on, 4x12 hour days off, 4x12 hour days on, 4x12 hour days off, 4x12 hour nights on, 4x12 hour nights off, 4x12 hour nights on, 4x12 hour nights off etc etc.... However, some members of our team work only monday to friday, i.e. 8 hour days. They don't work on any of the bank holidays.

For the past couple of years all the members of our team have been paid time and a half for working on a bank holiday although it has been loosely mentioned by management a couple of times that we are allowed to take a day off in lieu instead of time and a half pay.

The problem arises as we have recently been discussing at work that if the bank holiday falls on a day when we are not scheduled to be at work, we do not currently get compensated. I.e. an extra day off in lieu or extra pay.

We feel this might be unfair as it means that essentially we are working 3 to 4 extra 12 hour days a year compared to the Monday to Friday workers (if you calculate and compare the amount of hours worked per year by both types of worker on the team).

Here's what it says in our contract about holidays :

"You are entitled to 25 days of holiday per calendar year based on a 7.5 hour day, which calculates as 17 shift days, plus all statutory, bank and public holidays in England and Wales."

Anybody have any clue whether we have a leg to stand on and/if how to proceed?

P.S. as you might have noticed, it says that a work day is 7.5 hours long, and yet guys on monday-friday currently work 8 hours...but that's another matter.
posted by mikeanegus to Work & Money (7 answers total)
 
The DTI explains some of this.

it says that a work day is 7.5 hours long, and yet guys on monday-friday currently work 8 hours

No lunch break then?
posted by grouse at 12:41 AM on April 19, 2006


Ah...here's what it says about that in the contract (hence the 7.5 hours) :

"normal working hours are from 09:00 a.m. to 17:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, including a one-hour lunch break"
posted by mikeanegus at 12:48 AM on April 19, 2006


That DTI link is a good one. It pretty clearly states that you are at a disadvantage compared to the M-F workers, and this is a no-no. You might want to contact the DTI and see what they can do for you.
posted by antifuse at 2:13 AM on April 19, 2006


The problem with what you guys have suggested is that part-time work is defined as "The UK Government defines part-time work, as less than 30 hours a week."

as per this link.

So in essence as we are working more than 30 hours a week, we are not part-time workers. What I need to find is something which link shift-workers rights to those of full-time workers...
posted by mikeanegus at 2:25 AM on April 19, 2006


We feel this might be unfair as it means that essentially we are working 3 to 4 extra 12 hour days a year compared to the Monday to Friday workers (if you calculate and compare the amount of hours worked per year by both types of worker on the team).

Do you get paid at the same rate? Usually shift workers receive an additional allowance to compensate for unsociable hours, lack of Bank Holidays, etc.
posted by ninebelow at 3:48 AM on April 19, 2006


Hrmm... well one would think that if PART time workers (the lowest rung on the ladder) get the same vacation rights as full time workers, then full time shift-workers would get the same rights too, no? Unless, as ninebelow mentions, you are explicitly paid more because you are shift workers. But I'm guessing that this isn't the case, otherwise you wouldn't be asking this question. Call the folks at the DTI, I'm sure they'd be happy to help you.
posted by antifuse at 4:29 AM on April 19, 2006


Are the day workers on the same contract? I think you're on shaky ground about the bank holiday pay -- you are *already* compensated for the possibility of working them by getting 25 days' holiday instead of 17.

For those unfortunates who have to turn up on bank holidays, they *also* offer more pay or a day in lieu. This seems pretty fair to me.

At my office (a newspaper) they do the same thing -- we get extra days on our holiday allowance to make up for all the bank holidays we might end up working, but if you end up working Christmas day, they'll also give you extra pay. They're not going to pay all the people who don't come in that day but theoretically could, are they?

If the day workers are getting 17 days' holiday a year, there's nothing unfair here. If they are despite not working BHs, you can argue that the basic entitlement is actually 25 days, and that the night-shift entitlement should be 33 days holiday (25 days + 8 BHs)
posted by bonaldi at 6:41 AM on April 19, 2006


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