You and the Law – 15th December 2009

Bare minimum

My grand-daughter is having problems with her employer.  What is the current minimum wage?  What is the minimum holiday allowed by law?  And if her day off falls on a bank holiday, is she entitled to a day off in lieu?  NB

The main rate for the minimum wage is currently £5.80 an hour.  The rate for workers aged 18-21 inclusive is £4.83.  The rate for 16 and 17-year-olds is £3.57.  Your daughter can ring a confidential helpline (0800-917 2368) if she’s being underpaid.

All workers are entitled to a statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks’ annual holiday, so someone working a five-day week should get 28 days paid leave.
However, this leave can include bank holidays.  Whether she’s entitled to bank holidays, and therefore whether she’s entitled to an extra day off, will depend on her contract.

Tap dance

I’ve been having problems with our water supply, but when the water firm came they couldn’t find our stop tap.  It turned out that the kitchen fitters I had in four years ago had blocked it off behind a cupboard.  They say it’s not their problem.  What can I do?  DC

The kitchen fitters are accountable to you for work they carried out for up to six years, so it is their problem.  Blocking off access to your stop tap is clearly below the standard of workmanship you would expect from a firm reckoning to specialise in this area.  So if necessary you could take the firm to court to recover any expense you incurred in putting matters right, since they have refused to sort out the problem themselves.

If you had to rip out your kitchen to find the stop tap it will be worth pursuing this as long as your actions were ‘reasonable’.  But you shouldn’t expect them to pay for a new kitchen if you just needed to cut a hole in the back of the cupboard.

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