New research has found that as many as 2.2 million workers in the UK are not enjoying their full legal holiday entitlement and 1.2 million workers do not get any paid leave at all.
The TUC research uncovered a shortfall in leave valued at £3 billion a year, most affecting workers in the agricultural, mining and quarrying and accommodation and food sectors.
The researchers said the main reasons for the shortfall were excessive workloads, denied holiday requests and non-compliance with the law.
Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the TUC, said: “We’re now in peak holiday season. But while many workers are away enjoying time off with friends and family, millions are missing out. And that puts them at risk of burnout.
“Employers have no excuse for robbing staff of their well-earned leave. UK workers put in billions of hours of unpaid overtime as it is. The Government must toughen up enforcement to stop bosses cheating staff out of their leave.”
The minimum leave entitlement for employees in the UK is 28 days including public holidays.