Around 20 of London’s Royal Park attendants who are outsourced to multinational company Vinci appeared in court this week.
It was the first stage of their legal claim alleging that they have been unlawfully denied their full entitlement to 28 days annual leave per year.
The workers have 150 years service between them and some of them have been working for over 20 years. Yet they have been permitted to take only eight days instead of the legal minimum of 28 days for full time workers.
Other park attendants were permitted their full entitlement but were only paid at their contractual rate of pay rather than their actual rate of pay which is unlawful.
The claim is based on entitlements found in the Working Times Regulations 1998.
These same park attendants recently won the London Living Wage through strike action in 2019. They gained a pay rise from the then minimum wage of £8.21 per hour to the London Living Wage of £10.75.
UVW union members at the Royal Parks are migrant, majority BAME, workers and are also involved in UVW’s legal case against outsourcing.
The case will also begin proceedings this month.
One Royal Parks attendant said, “Vinci is a thieving company. Any way it can it will find a way to steal from the little people.
“Whether it is annual leave, or your wages, you always seem to be missing money somewhere or another.
“We hope this legal case will show everyone what Vinci is really like, and get us the money we are owed.”
Richard O’Keeffe, UVW’s head of legal services said, “It is not in dispute that Vinci have denied our members their full annual leave entitlement and have dramatically underpaid them.
“We urge Vinci to pay our members what they are owed. Our members have not ruled out industrial action.”