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Portsmouth MP votes to protect workers’ employment protections

Stephen Morgan MP has voted to protect holiday pay entitlements and safe working limits following the Government’s admission that employment protections are being reviewed to see which to scrap and which to keep. 

Despite repeated promises from Ministers that they have no plans to rip up the rights of workers, it has now been revealed that the Government will consult on changes which could mean:

  • Ending the inclusion of overtime in how holiday pay is calculated,
  • A longer working week, with no legal cap on the number of hours employers can make their employees work
  • An end to the legal right to rest breaks at work

Analysis by the Labour Party has revealed that key workers including care workers, haulage drivers and police officers would lose out on hundreds of pounds a year under the plans being considered.

Under the current rules, workers are entitled to a week’s pay for each week of statutory leave that they take, and employers have to include regular overtime in how a week’s pay is calculated. For example, if your pay is set at £250 a week but in practice you usually earn £300 a week due to regular overtime hours, the higher figure should be used to calculate your holiday pay.

Scrapping these rules would mean the pay workers are entitled to while on holiday would be lower – calculated from a base hourly rate, without overtime. 

Analysis by Labour can reveal that removing overtime from calculations of holiday pay would mean:

  • The average full-time care worker would lose out on £239.60 a year
  • The average full-time police officer would lose out on £308 a year
  • The average full-time driver of large goods vehicles would lose out on £413.60 a year
  • The average full-time worker in food and drink processing would lose out on £500 a year

Labour’s motion on Monday (25 January 2021) called on the Government to specifically rule out any changes to the 48-hour working week, rest breaks at work, or holiday pay entitlements, and to outlaw fire and rehire tactics.

Stephen Morgan MP, said:

“During this lockdown period, Ministers should be focused on securing our economy and protecting jobs and businesses, not removing the hard-won rights of working people.

“These changes would leave many workers in Portsmouth, including key workers, hundreds of pounds out of pocket and working longer hours in unsafe work.

That cannot be right and I will continue to call on Government to think again.”

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Protection, added:

“In the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis, Ministers are considering ripping up workers’ rights. This could see people across the country worse off, losing out on holiday pay and working longer hours.

Scrapping the 48-hour working week cap could mean many key workers feel pressured to work excessive hours. The Government should be focused on securing our economy and rebuilding the country, not taking a wrecking ball to hard-won worker’s rights.  

“The Government’s true colours are on full display once again and it’s clear their priorities couldn’t be further from those of workers and their families.”