Are we all getting 14 weeks holiday?

Published: 3rd Feb 2017

In brief

Claim

The government's Brexit white paper said that UK workers were going to get 14 weeks holiday.

Conclusion

A chart in the paper comparing UK and EU holiday entitlement said that under UK law workers get 14 weeks holiday and under EU law workers get 5.6 weeks of paid maternity leave. It’s actually the other way round. The government has now corrected the chart.

“There was a point, a bar graph, chart within the [Brexit white] paper, that stated that UK workers were going to get 14 weeks holiday. You can imagine my office was beside themselves when they heard this, only to find out a couple of hours later that it was a misprint and it's actually 5.6 weeks.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, 2 February 2017

The government published its white paper on Brexit on 2 February. This sets out the 12 priorities the government has identified for Brexit.

Later the same day it corrected one of the charts in the paper which compares the amount of annual holiday and paid maternity leave workers are entitled to under both UK law and EU law.

It was widely reported that the chart had suggested that under UK law workers get 14 weeks of paid holiday every year and that under EU law workers get just 5.6 weeks of paid maternity leave.

In fact it’s the other way round.

In the UK workers are entitled to 39 weeks of paid maternity leave compared to 14 weeks under EU law. Similarly they are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday every year under UK law and four weeks under EU law. The graph in the white paper now shows this.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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