How to work out holiday leave for your employees

by Nadine De Souza

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<div class="rxbodyfield"><p>We answer your employer questions on how to work out holiday leave for full-time, part-time and irregular hours workers.</p><h4><b>How much holiday should workers get?</b></h4><p>All workers have the right to a minimum of 5.6 weeks&#8217; (or 28 days if you work full-time) paid holiday a year. Paid public holidays (of which there are eight in the UK) can be counted as part of the statutory holiday entitlement. Some employers provide more generous contractual holiday entitlement than the statutory minimum.</p><h4><b>What about part-time workers?</b></h4><p>Part-time workers are entitled to the same holidays as full-time workers, calculated on a pro rata basis. So, for example, where an employer gives full-time employees 28 days&#8217; holiday per year (plus public holidays), it should give an employee who works three days a week (Tuesday to Thursday) 16.8 days&#8217; paid holiday (plus 3/5 of the year&#8217;s public holidays, even if the part-timer does not work on Mondays).</p><h4><b>What happens to a worker&#8217;s holiday when they are sick or on maternity leave?</b></h4><p>Workers are entitled to accrue holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity and adoption leave and when off sick. Workers are also entitled to use holiday instead of sick leave.</p><h4><b>Can workers carry over leave to the next holiday year?</b></h4><p>The legislation doesn&#39;t entitle workers to carry leave over into the following year, nor may they receive payment in lieu to replace unused leave, except where the employment is terminated. The reason for this is to ensure that employees take holidays as a health and safety measure. It&#39;s not uncommon for contracts of employment to allow some holiday to be carried over or to attract payment in lieu; this is acceptable provided that it&#39;s holiday that exceeds the statutory minimum of 28 days including public holidays.</p><h4><b>How much holiday pay should a worker get?</b></h4><p>Workers are entitled to a week&#8217;s pay for each week of their statutory leave entitlement. This is relatively easy to calculate if the worker&#8217;s pay doesn&#39;t vary with the amount of work done. However, if their pay varies with the amount of work done or they are shift or rota workers or have no normal working hours, then the amount of a week&#8217;s pay is the average pay received over the preceding 12 weeks.</p><h4><b>What is a holiday year?</b></h4><p>Annual leave begins to accrue as soon as a worker starts their job. An employer must tell the worker what the holiday year is. It&#39;s usually set out in the employment contract. If the leave year isn&#8217;t set out in the employment contract, then it will start on the first day of the job (if started after 1 October 1998) or 1 October (if started before 1 October 1998). If a worker starts a job part way through the holiday year, then they are only entitled to part of their total annual leave.</p><p>An employer can also use an accrual system during an employee&#8217;s first year of employment. Using this system an employee will receive one twelfth of their leave each month.</p><h4><b>Do I have to agree to my worker&#8217;s leave request?</b></h4><p>It&#39;s advisable for the employer to set out in the employment contract how a worker should apply for leave and how to seek approval before leave can be taken. An employer can&#8217;t refuse to give an employee any leave but it can refuse to give them leave at a certain time. Usually to book time off you need to give twice as much notice as the amount of leave the worker wants to take (e.g. two days&#8217; notice for one day&#8217;s leave). Employers can tell their staff when they can take leave (e.g. bank holidays and Christmas) or restrict when leave is taken (e.g. at busy work periods).</p><h4><b>What happens to a worker&#8217;s holiday pay when they leave their job?</b></h4><p>If employment ends, then a worker has a right to be paid for any annual leave not taken.</p><h4><b>Help from Lawpack</b></h4><p><i>This article has been adapted from Lawpack&#8217;s <a href=";sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_context=0&amp;sys_contentid=706&amp;sys_variantid=409" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="706" sys_dependentid="706" sys_dependentvariantid="409" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215743" sys_siteid="" sys_variantid="409" title="">Employment Law Made Easy</a>.&#160;</i></p><p>If you want more in-depth information &#8211; from an employment lawyer &#8211; about all aspects of employment law, then read our guide <a href=";sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_context=0&amp;sys_contentid=706&amp;sys_variantid=409" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="706" sys_dependentid="706" sys_dependentvariantid="409" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215744" sys_siteid="" sys_variantid="409" title="">Employment Law Made Easy</a>. Packed with tips and expert advice on complying with employment legislation.</p><p>For more information on employment contracts or to download a legally valid, solicitor-approved employment contract see Lawpack&#8217;s <a href=";sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_context=0&amp;sys_contentid=813&amp;sys_variantid=409" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="813" sys_dependentid="813" sys_dependentvariantid="409" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215737" sys_siteid="" sys_variantid="409" title="">Employment Contract</a>.</p><h4><b>Other information</b></h4><ul class="list ponw"><li><a href=";sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_context=0&amp;sys_contentid=8348&amp;sys_variantid=397" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="8348" sys_dependentid="8348" sys_dependentvariantid="397" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215746" sys_siteid="" sys_variantid="397" title="">How to work out holiday pay</a></li><li><a href=";sys_siteid=343&amp;sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_context=0&amp;sys_contentid=8344&amp;sys_variantid=397" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="8344" sys_dependentid="8344" sys_dependentvariantid="397" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215747" sys_siteid="343" sys_variantid="397" title="">Employers must include overtime in holiday pay</a></li><li><a href=";sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_context=0&amp;sys_contentid=8284&amp;sys_variantid=397" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="8284" sys_dependentid="8284" sys_dependentvariantid="397" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215739" sys_siteid="" sys_variantid="397" title="">What to do when your employees are off sick</a></li><li><a href=";sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_context=0&amp;sys_contentid=8380&amp;sys_variantid=397" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="8380" sys_dependentid="8380" sys_dependentvariantid="397" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215748" sys_siteid="" sys_variantid="397" title="">What goes in an employment contract?</a></li><li><a href=";sys_siteid=&amp;sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_contentid=8381&amp;sys_variantid=397&amp;sys_folderid=&amp;sys_context=0" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="8381" sys_dependentid="8381" sys_dependentvariantid="397" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215749" sys_siteid="" sys_variantid="397" title="">Contract types and employer responsibilities</a></li><li><a href=";sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_context=0&amp;sys_contentid=8325&amp;sys_variantid=397" inlinetype="rxhyperlink" rxinlineslot="103" sys_contentid="8325" sys_dependentid="8325" sys_dependentvariantid="397" sys_folderid="" sys_relationshipid="215745" sys_siteid="" sys_variantid="397" title="">Guide to maximum weekly working hours and opting out</a></li></ul><br /><h4><b>External links</b></h4><ul class="list ponw"><li><a href="" target="_blank"> Holiday entitlement</a></li><li><a href="" target="_blank">ACAS: Annual holiday entitlement</a></li></ul><br /></div>

Published on: August 25, 2014

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