On the legislative front, the main event of 2007 was the extension of the statutory minimum holiday entitlement for full-time workers from 20 to 24 days with effect from 1 October 2007, though transitional provisions will mean that it will take some time before this increase works through fully. The entitlement will go up to 28 days in April 2009. Although the extra days are not linked to public holidays, the idea is that all workers will, once these measures are fully implemented, enjoy a minimum of four weeks paid holiday, plus paid bank and public holidays or their equivalent.

But not all workers can or want to take paid holiday in the conventional way, particularly casual workers. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision in Robinson-Steele in March 2006 ruled that paying employees an additional sum each week to reflect their accrued holiday entitlement (ie, rolled-up holiday pay) was unlawful, but that sums "already paid" could be set off against entitlement to statutory holiday pay. The Government's position is that contracts incorporating rolled up holiday pay should be re-negotiated in the light of the ECJ's decision, but that does not seem to have bothered the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the recent decision of Lyddon v Englefield Brick when it ruled that rolled up holiday pay clearly identified in the claimant's wage slip could be set off. It is unclear whether the EAT reached this conclusion because the arrangements in question pre-dated the ECJ decision.

For the full decision in Lyddon v Englefield click here.