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Statutory Holiday Entitlement

In most situations, all workers in the UK are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave).

Those employees who work part-time hours are entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per annum pro rata equivalent.

Self-employed workers aren’t entitled to annual leave.

Employees Working 5 days a week

Most employees who work a 5-day week, must receive 28 days paid annual leave per year. This is calculated by multiplying a normal week (5 days) by the annual entitlement of 5.6 weeks.

Working part-time

Workers who are employed on a part-time basis are also entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid holiday each year, although this may amount to fewer actual days of paid holiday than a full-time worker would get.

Example
A worker works 3 days a week, their leave is calculated by multiplying 3 by 5.6 which comes to 16.8 days of annual paid leave.

Irregular hours

If someone works irregular hours – eg shift work – they need to calculate their leave entitlement for irregular hours.

Limits on statutory leave

Statutory paid holiday entitlement is limited to 28 days. Staff working 6 days a week are only entitled to 28 days’ paid holiday and not 33.6 days (5.6 multiplied by 6).

The rate of holiday pay an employee is paid is the same as their normal working hourly rate during their holiday leave. An employee begins to accrue holiday hours once they start working.

Bank and public holidays

Employees do not have a statutory right to paid holiday on bank or public holidays. An employer can choose to include Bank or public holidays as paid leave. These holidays are therefore included as part of a employee’s statutory annual leave.

It is important to note that the holiday entitlement 5.6 weeks including all 8 bank holidays and not 5.6 weeks plus all 8 bank holidays.

Working pattern Pay
Fixed hours and fixed pay (part time or full time) A week’s holiday pay equals how much a worker gets for a week’s work (excluding non-guaranteed overtime payments in most cases)
Shift work with fixed hours (part time or full time) A week’s holiday pay equals the average number of weekly fixed hours a worker worked in the previous 12 weeks at their average hourly rate
No fixed hours (ie casual work) A week’s holiday pay is the average pay a worker got over the previous 12 weeks (in which they were paid)
Other aspects of holiday entitlement

Workers have the right to:

  • Receive payments for annual leave
  • build up holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity and adoption leave
  • build up holiday entitlement while off work sick
  • choose to take holiday instead of sick leave

Definition of Pro rata
Whenever dealing with part-time employment, Pro rata simply means proportionally or a proportion of working hours and holiday entitlement to that of full time working hours and holiday entitlement.

Rolled-up holiday pay

Holiday pay should be paid for the time when annual leave is taken. An employer cannot include an amount for holiday pay in the hourly rate (known as ‘rolled-up holiday pay’). If a current contract still includes rolled-up pay, it needs to be re-negotiated.

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