I was a working student a couple of months ago at a company. We had an informal agreement when it came to vacation that I can just not work if I don't have the time to, and that's my vacation. But obviously I didn't get paid for those days/weeks as I didn't work. At the time I thought that was entirely reasonable.
However, I just found out that there is legislation where I live that I am entitled to a minimum amount of paid vacation even as a working student. I haven't received any of that, I only received the payments for my hours worked. Thus I am literally owed a certain amount of money by that company.
Note that while I did have a written contract with that company, it doesn't mention anything about vacation pay. It does however mention that I am not entitled to "extra payment", which I believe is against the law if it is meant to exclude vacation pay.
My question is how should I proceed? Do I just politely contact HR about this? How likely are my chances that they will fix this without escalating it?
Please don't debate legislation here, take it as a given. Hence location is irrelevant. I just want to know how to approach the company regarding this.