You and the Law – 23rd February 2010

Tapping holiday cash

My employer refuses to hand over my holiday pay.  He says he will only pay out when employees actually take a holiday.  A percentage is taken from my pay each week towards holiday pay, which should now amount to more than £300.  My terms and conditions only cover the amount paid, not when we can have it.  Surely my employer must give me the money when I want it?  TH

Under the Working Time Regulations you have to take the holiday in order to be paid holiday pay.  The only exception is where you’re on the point of leaving the firm.  Your employer should make sure you take the legal minimum of 5.6 weeks’ holiday a year. 

It’s unlikely that your employer is deducting money from your wages, since you can’t be requested to make any contribution to your holiday pay.  Check this with the wages department.

A whiter shade

We bought an expensive carpet a year ago.  It was supposed to be ‘fade
resistant’, but now it’s gone white with the sun.  The people who are now in
the shop say the previous firm went into liquidation.  Is there anything we
can do?  JP

Probably not a lot, unless the carpet came with a manufacturer’s guarantee.
It’s certainly worth contacting the factory.  If it’s a reputable firm they may wish to resolve the matter even if they didn’t provide a guarantee.  But from a legal point of view your contract was with the shop that sold you the carpet. 

If the firm is no longer in business you won’t be able to pursue your claim.  You can register your claim with the liquidator of the old firm but I think it highly unlikely that you will receive a dividend from this source.

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