BRITAIN’S EU referendum battle is being fought on the beaches today over claims that Brexit will “put family holidays at risk.”
The TUC has released research suggesting that one in four British workers benefited from extra paid holiday last year because of European Union laws.
But labour movement figures in the Leave campaign said the TUC was trying to “frighten” people and were stuck in a “time warp” where Social Europe still existed.
The Working Time Directive makes four weeks paid annual leave the legal minimum requirement for employers.
The TUC report states that trade unions negotiated statutory holiday pay for many workers before the law was enacted in Britain in 1998.
But the union body argues that seven million workers have gained an average of 13 days extra paid holiday since then.
Women have been the biggest winners with 4.7 million getting more paid holidays, according to the research.
And the TUC claimed that “family holidays could be at particular risk” if Britain leaves the EU and holiday entitlement was set by the British government.
Workers will find their holiday rights “squeezed” while loopholes could see bad bosses opt-out of paid holiday completely, the report warned.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Voting to leave the EU risks the paid holidays of millions.
“We know that some of the biggest cheerleaders for Brexit see protections for ordinary British workers — like paid holiday — as just red tape to be binned. And we know that bad bosses are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of being able to cut workers’ hard-won entitlements.”
But former Labour MP and Vote Leave spokesman Ian Davidson said the Working Time Directive had not been improved since it was first drafted in 1993 because of the “death” of Social Europe.
“The subsequent total victory throughout the EU institutions of neoliberalism, the direction of travel for the EU has been to reduce terms and conditions for working people,” he said.
“Too many in our movement are in a time warp, believing that Jacques Delors is still in charge.
“The TUC should tell workers in the UK what has happened to Greece and the other EU countries where financial settlements have been inflicted by Brussels rather than seeking to spread panic.”