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Unite calls for clarity on annual leave

Unite the union has called for clarity from the Gibraltar Government regarding the annual leave entitlements for those employees that were deemed ‘inactive’ during the Covid lockdown.

“Throughout the numerous, lengthy and productive CELAC (Coronavirus Economic Liaison and Advisory Committee) meetings, it was widely discussed and established that workers who were marked as inactive during any period of payment of the BEAT measures would continue to accrue annual leave under their contract of employment,” Stuart Davies, Unite National Officer for Gibraltar, said.

“It then came to light that due to an issue with the drafting of the legislation that employers were then advising members in line with that erroneous drafting that no annual leave was accrued during the periods in which Government was paying these employees through the measures.”

According to Unite, the confusion has arisen from an apparent “drafting issue” of the legislation.

This, it said, means that employers are now advising employees that they did not accrue annual leave through any period in which they were marked as “inactive” despite the contractual relationship remaining in place.

“This has led to those members being made redundant being paid the incorrect amounts of accrued annual leave on the termination of their employment or those still employed being advised that they have less annual leave than their contracts or statute dictate which is having a significant and adverse impact on the union’s members in the private sector,” Mr Davies continued.

“Since we became aware of this issue Unite have been making representations to Government on the disconnect to what was discussed in detail via CELAC and what ended up in legislation. Whilst there is an acknowledgement from Government of this contradictory position a solution has not yet been forthcoming and it is resulting in annual leave chaos, with the union being deluged with queries from members.”

“The union is calling for clarity from Government and a resolution to this issue which is leaving ordinary working people unfairly short-changed on their annual leave. Unite does however welcome the progressive position being adopted by some employers to not deduct annual leave from employees that had a period of inactive employment.”

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