Statutory Annual Holiday Entitlement

Every employee must be given the statutory annual holiday entitlement as a minimum, that is 5.6 weeks per holiday year whether they are employed on a full time, part time, permanent, temporary or casual basis.

A holiday week should allow an employee to be away from work for the same amount of time as they would normally work. For instance: where an employee is contracted to work a five-day week their annual entitlement would be 28 days and where an employee works a three-day week their entitlement would be 16.8 days.

You can insist that holiday is used to cover set dates, for instance if your business closes between Christmas and the New Year. You can also place restrictions on the maximum amount of holiday that can be taken in one occasion, for instance 2 weeks, insist that holiday may not be taken during specific dates, for instance to ensure maximum working hours are achieved during busy trading periods, and determine the number of employees who may be absent at any one time.

You can agree with your employees how and when notice of holiday will be given. In the absence of such an agreement the notice period should be at least twice the period of holiday to be taken, for instance if a week’s holiday is requested then two weeks notice should be given.

There is no right for untaken holiday to be carried over to the following holiday year. Neither is there a right for a payment to be made where holiday is not used during the year, unless the employee leaves your employ. Therefore untaken holiday is lost.

When an employee leaves, for whatever reason, you must pay them for any holiday they have accrued but have not taken.

Bank and Public Holidays

There is no legal right to paid time off for public holidays; any right to paid time off for these holidays depends on the terms of a worker’s contract. Paid public holidays can be counted as part of the statutory 5.6 weeks of holiday.

Calculating Holiday Pay

If your employee’s working hours do not vary from week to week, a week’s pay will be the pay due for the basic contracted hours.

If your employee works different hours each week then a week’s pay is the average pay received over the preceding 12 week period. Any weeks for which no pay was due should be replaced by the last previous week for which pay was due.

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The Holiday Entitlement folder contains a range of guidance and resources to help you manage employees holiday entitlement. I also provide a model policy and a template holiday request form and a range of How to Guides that deal with unusual situations such as when an employee who goes ahead with a holiday when annual leave has not been authorised.

Statutory Annual Holiday Entitlement

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