ASK ALYS IS SCROOGE BOSS RIGHT? REAL BRITAIN; Ros Wynne-Jones standing up for you and your family.
Byline: Ros Wynne-Jones
Alys Cunningham, a lawyer with Unite the Union, answers workplace problems
Q My boss told me I have to work Christmas Day and New Year's Day this year as they fall on Mondays. Can they really do this?
Ayls answers: As a lot of firms close on Christmas Day New Year's Day, most workers do tend to get days off, but unless your contract says this, it is not an automatic legal right. Unfortunately, although Christmas Day and New Year's Day are bank holidays, there is no automatic right to have bank holidays off work.
Employers are obliged (under the Working Time Regulations 1998) to give workers at least 5.6 weeks holiday each year, which is 28 days for someone who works a five-day week, but this does not have to include Christmas, New Year's Day or other bank holidays. You should check your contract of employment to see what it says about holidays.
Details as to how many days holiday you get and any conditions on when you can and can't take your holidays, should be set out in your contract of employment.
If you are required to work on bank holidays, your contract might give you the right to extra pay for this - although I understand this may not compensate.