Wiltshire Police translators are set to take legal action against their employer.

DA Languages has a contract to provide translators for Wiltshire Police and other forces across the UK.

But law firm Leigh Day believes it is denying thousands of workers the rights they are entitled to.

Leigh Day is currently acting on behalf of interpreters and translators who believe they should be treated as workers and given the appropriate rights under employment law. 

An employee who has been given the name Julia to protect her identity has worked as a translator for DA Languages for eight years.

She said: "Each year, around the holidays, instead of looking forward to spending time with family, I'm worried about whether I will be able to support myself during January.

"As the majority of people take time off, it leaves me with little to no work, so I end up working all hours of the night just to make ends meet. Not only disturbing my sleep but adding excess stress to my life.

"Getting workers' rights would mean being able to see family and spend time with them without worrying about how I will pay bills." 

Interpreters and translators working for DA Languages are currently classified as self-employed independent contractors.

Leigh Day argues that, because of the way the company operates, including fixing interpreters and translators' rate of pay, imposing fines when they are unable to attend or complete jobs, and not allowing substitutes to attend jobs in place of the assigned interpreter or translator, they should be classed as workers, given holiday pay and at least National Minimum Wage.

If the claims against DA Languages are successful, Leigh Day, which is acting on a no-win, no-fee basis, estimates that a claimant who has worked full-time for two years could be entitled to more than £10,000 in compensation. 

A spokesman for DA Languages said: "DA Languages is a responsible business and takes any complaints seriously.  We have not yet received any detailed correspondence from Leigh Day or any complaint from any individual linguist explaining any claim against us. 

"Nevertheless, we will obviously carefully consider any such complaint and respond appropriately. As the law explains, contracting parties are free to agree terms, including charges for breach of contract, between themselves.

"We are committed to providing a first-class service for our customers, especially within hospitals and the justice system, and to working with our valued network of freelance translators and interpreters to do so.  

"We hugely value the essential contribution of these languages experts in the delivery of critical services."