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Staff holiday entitlement could rise to 28 days on October 1

Government changes to holiday entitlement could put huge pressure on motor trade businesses in the run-up to Christmas.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will decide on Monday when to implement the move to eight more days of statutory holiday entitlement. It is scheduled to start on 1 October this year but the DTI has been under considerable pressure from trade bodies to put this back to 1 January 2008.

The proposal says that the increase from the current 20 days will be achieved in two stages. The first rise on 1 October 2007 will be to 24 days. A year later on 1 October 2008 it will increase by a further four days.

However, organisations like the Federation of Small Business (FSB) say that the full eight days could be imposed on 1 October 2007. ‘We have lobbied against the implementation on October 1. We would prefer to see the entitlement start on 1 January 2008,’ says an FSB spokesman.

Many companies have already factored in the eight days. Those which have not could face a nightmare fitting in an extra eight days per employee before Christmas. Many companies run their holiday entitlement on the basis of a calendar year.

A typical example would be a company with 20 full time staff. If four extra days are added on October 1, businesses would then need to make provision for 80 extra holidays before Christmas.

If the full eight days are brought in, this would double. Almost certainly firms would need to think about employing extra staff with the impact on the bottom line.

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