Thousands of hospitality businesses are not offering their employees public holiday pay, a report from national charity Citizens Advice (CAB) has revealed.
As most British workers look forward to an extra bank holiday to celebrate the Royal Wedding, many are being forced to work without a break, or only allowed unpaid leave.
From 2007 to 2010, CAB advisers dealt with 87,725 cases. The majority are women, many juggling part-time work with family commitments.
The report, Give us a Break, finds that it often appears to be deliberate, with rogue employers using a range of excuses to avoid meeting their legal obligations to their workforce.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "The vast majority of employers - large and small - try hard to meet their legal obligations to their workforce, and most go way beyond the minimum statutory requirements. Sadly, however, there are still far too many rogue employers and employment agencies prepared to flout the law and profit from exploitation.
"As a result, tens of thousands of the most vulnerable workers in the UK economy do not benefit fully from the legal framework of fairness in the workplace. They include many of the restaurant and bar staff, cleaners, shop workers, clerical staff, builders, decorators and care workers that the rest of us rely on.
"Left unchecked, the behaviour of such rogue employers creates injustice not only for the workers they exploit, but also for law-abiding employers who quite rightly want - and are entitled to expect - a level playing field on which to compete fairly, within the law."
By Gemma Rowbotham
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