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24-12-20: Holiday Pay Discovery


My main PA, who I will refer to as Morris and have had him for 5 years, is working over Christmas. This is the first Christmas I have had in London. I usually go to Manchester to be with my family. He is a Muslim and happy to work, but he wants next week off to recuperate. He has worked every day since the Director's business partner left in early October. The Director was refusing to give him a paid holiday because, she proclaims, his holiday pay is included in his basic pay. This is not what he had been led to believe. He was told that his salary was £10.50 an hour. Similarly, this is what other PAs were told when I was on interview panels. I was curious so I checked my old payslips and there was an additional notes box stating '£x of holiday pay is included in pay', but it is not in the calculations. I am sure that something is wrong with this approach but, for Morris, it is harder for him to prove that he was/is misled. I worked for £8.75 an hour and, therefore, if holiday pay was included, my basic salary would have been below minimum wage. Given that the limitation period to holiday claims is 3 months less one day from my last payslip on the 29th September, I need to act swiftly so I visited the office.


Morris was sitting outside when I got to the office, waiting for the Director to finish a phone call. He went in first and he got his paid holiday. I cannot share more than that because it is not my story to tell. I just hope he gets advice regarding his employment rights. The Director agreed there was a mishap with my payslips and she said I am owed 12% of my salary - Merry Christmas- but she is yet to commit to putting our agreement in writing. 

The Director told me that she will not be getting the COVID-19 vaccination. I was quite shocked because she works with one client with quite a few health conditions and another who is quite old. They are probably a significant risk. I thought that a nurse working in care would be keen to have it, especially one working with vulnerable people.

The Director shared her wish for more money from me for the service. I do not dictate the rate of pay. That is agreed between the care provider and the local authority. In March, the care provider agreed to £17.50 an hour and that is the biggest margin of any provider I have had. They do not have many clients and a lot of wasteful expenditure though. I just said it is not for me to decide and my review is in March. I will not be with this provider by then anyway.

Morris took ill during the afternoon and I had to get cover. Despite the fact that I had DJ (a pseudonym) helping me make chicken for my Christmas dinner from 8pm, I needed my usual 6-7pm call to go to the toilet and eat. I am grateful to the Director's son for coming but he was on the phone the entire call, which infringes on my privacy and makes me feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, DJ came and he made his delightful roasted tomato and pepper seasoned chicken and cleaned the flat. It was a big help.