Small employers 'unaware' of extra holidays for staff

A large number of small firms appear to be unaware that the statutory minimum holiday entitlement is to rise for employees.

As from 1 April, full-time employees are to have an extra four days holiday a year, taking the total entitlement to paid leave to 28 days including bank holidays, or from 16 days to 20 days not including bank holidays.

However, a survey carried out by a Humyo, an IT company, revealed that, of the 150 firms polled, 65 per cent were unaware of the imminent increase, while 55 per cent said the change would harm them.

Some 63 per cent wanted the extra holidays to be delayed because of the recession, with 47 per cent claiming that scrapping the measure would help them come through the economic downturn.

The Federation of Small Businesses has called on the government to review the additional holiday entitlement, arguing that it could leave the small business community paying £724 million.

A spokesperson from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform said: “Extra holidays will improve the lives of millions of hard-working British employees. Businesses will benefit from a more motivated and productive workforce, as well as reduced levels of sick leave.”