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Spare a thought for the employees who can’t have Friday off

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 27 April 2011
Unless you’ve been spent the last few months marooned on a desert island, or stuck in the wilds of Outer Mongolia with no access to TV or Internet, you’ll be aware that a very special wedding is taking place this Friday.

In fact we're well into what I think of as Bank Holiday season. We've just got over the Easter break and now another 4 day weekend looms before us. And then there's another bank holiday at the end of May.

Now as we all know, one of the great things about freelancing is the flexibility it offers. OK, the work still needs to be done, but on the whole we have a certain amount of flexibility as to when it is done. After all, as long as you meet your deadlines, the client is likely to be happy.

It now transpires that our employed counterparts may not be able to relax on Friday and watch Wills and Kate exchange their wedding vows. Apparently it will depend on the goodwill of their employer or the terms of their contract.

The TUC has asked employers to grant the holiday, but even they have had to accept that it is not included in the holiday entitlement of some workers. The government also hopes UK employees will get the day off.

However, lawyers say it's all in the wording of employment contracts. If a contract says that staff are entitled to the legal minimum of 28 days holiday, employers are under no obligation to allow them an extra day off on Friday. On the other hand, if the contract specifies that staff are entitled to leave on bank holidays, they should be allowed time off for the wedding.

Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, says that some tight-fisted firms have decided to keep employees chained to their desks on Friday while the rest of us enjoy the wedding and subsequent street parties.

Doesn't it make you glad you became a freelancer?

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