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Can I Claim Statutory holiday & Sick Pay?

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As you are deemed to be an employee of your umbrella company, you are therefore entitled to receive holiday and sick pay.

The European commission introduced the working time directive in 1993 to work alongside member states' employment laws. It is primarily designed to safeguard workers' rights. It puts a limit on the number of hours that should be worked each week and specifies how long breaks should be, as well as legislating specifically for night-time working.

It wasn't adopted in Britain until 1998 (and reluctantly at that), following the loss of a court battle in 1996. The Conservative government had argued that working time was not a health and safety provision under the EU treaties and should not be subject to regulation at EU level.

Labour supported the directive in opposition, saying it would help restore a fair balance between the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees. It has been rather less enthusiastic about it since being in power.

The working time directive states that all Employees have the right to:



  • A maximum working week of 48 hours

  • A rest period of 11 consecutive hours a day

  • A rest break when the day is longer than six hours

  • A minimum of one rest day per weekThe statutory right to four weeks' holiday

In addition to this:





  • Night working must not average out at more than eight hours at a stretch
  • Workers will be entitled to a free health check-up before being employed on night work and at regular intervals thereafter

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