You and the Law – 16th November 2010

Losing a day

My employer wants to cut my contracted holiday entitlement by one day to save money.  Is he allowed to do this?  CW

You are entitled by law to 5.6 weeks’ holiday a year; it would be illegal
for your employer to give you less.  Assuming you get more than the statutory minimum, the proposed cut is a contractual matter.  Employment contracts are legally binding on both parties.  This doesn’t mean that they can’t be altered, but if they are altered it should be by agreement.

If you can’t reach agreement having used the firm’s grievance procedure you could ask an employment tribunal to decide whether the change was
reasonable.  Your employer would have to make out a convincing case for
saving money.  If you have worked for the firm more than a year you will have some job security, but if it looks as though you may be sacked over the
issue you should take further advice.

Casual approach

We run a small family business and started using casual labour eight years
ago at weekends.  I kept records of payments made and submitted these to the Inland Revenue via our accountant.  We have now had a demand for seven years’ unpaid tax, amounting to over £20,000.00.  AS

It would appear that the Inland Revenue is suggesting that your casual
workforce should have been subject to PAYE.  Since you didn’t deduct tax at
source, they are now expecting you to pick up the bill.  They are entitled to
go back six years from the date they first asked you for the money.  In Inland Revenue terms this is a question of “status” employed or
self-employed.  If you can argue that your casuals are in fact self-employed
they should pay their own tax. 

The first step is to ask the inspector for an explanation of his decision in writing. You can always appeal, but you wouldthen be advised to see a suitably experienced solicitor.

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