If you’re off on your holidays soon, spare a thought for those who lived prior to 1938, when there was no statutory entitlement to a holiday in the UK.
In July 1938 a Committee of Inquiry report recommended the gradual introduction of a statutory right to a holiday. This became the Holidays with Pay Act 1938.
The TUC had been campaigning for paid holidays since 1911. In 1936 an International Labour Convention on holidays was passed by the ILO, which prompted the UK government to establish the Committee of Inquiry.
The TUC pamphlet above, Holidays for All, contains the TUC’s submission of evidence to the Commission. The Holidays with Pay Act introduced the right to a one week holiday for those workers whose minimum rates of pay were set by Trades Boards. The TUC was disappointed with the legislation, as it had been campaigning for a two week holiday.