A zero hours worker has won a court battle to force his former employer to pay him for annual leave.
Helier Heath, 23, is now calling on others to know their rights after he took his former employer to court over unpaid holiday.
Helier worked as a security guard with Plymouth-based Crown Security Solutions for about three months.
During that time he was on a so-called zero hours contract, where the employee is not guaranteed any hours, and said he did received no holiday pay.
He took the company to the small claims court, and a judge ordered them to pay him £562.
The company was also ordered to pay him £153 travel expenses and a further £140 court fees – making a total of £855.
Helier, who was living in Plymouth, Devon at the time but has now moved to Wales, said over the past few years he had been on various zero hours contracts with different firms.
He said: “None of them paid me any holiday pay.
“This was the same for most of my colleagues, and I suspect it is the same for employees of a lot of small-medium size firms using zero hours contracts.
“I did some research and found that legally, zero hours workers have the same entitlement to paid holiday, based on the average hours they have worked.
“There must be an awful lot of people who have no idea of their holiday entitlement.”
Helier sought advice from Acas, which provides guidance to both employees and employers, over the case.
He said he was advised that the matter could not be heard at an employment tribunal because he had left the firm more than three months previously, but that he was entitled to make a claim through the small claims court, which he proceeded to do.
He told other zero hours workers: “Look it up. You should know your rights.
“If the staff don’t know about it the employers won’t do anything about it.
“If they are already on minimum wage and don’t get their holiday then they’re not really earning minimum wage.”
Ken Gordon, managing director at Crown Security Solutions, said no one from the company was present at the court hearing.
He added that the firm had requested that the judgement is set aside.
The law states that zero hour workers are entitled to statutory annual leave and the National Minimum Wage in the same way as regular workers.