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Extra working hours could become paid leave

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The government is looking at plans to offer employees the chance to build up additional paid leave.

Under the scheme, employees would come to an agreement with their employers to put in more hours than they are contracted or paid to work. The extra unpaid hours could then be taken as accumulated paid leave.

The leave could be taken in longer blocks than is usually the case now, with leave periods being rolled over from year to year.

The proposal is contained in the government’s pre-manifesto paper and is part of a drive to make working patterns more flexible.

The paper said: “We are considering how employees might take extended leave periods, including proposals such as the Dutch leave model where they are able to accumulate paid leave which can then be taken in extended periods from a few months to a year or more.”

Although it is reported that the scheme has not been extensively considered by ministers, the government’s delay in implementing extended paternity leave suggests that any change to the law, should the government be re-elected, may be some way off.