Holiday entitlement

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Holiday entitlement

As the summer holiday season is upon us, we thought that it would be useful to remind employees of their annual holiday entitlement. Almost all full-time workers in the UK are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ (or 28 days) paid holiday per year. This is known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave. Legally, employers can include bank holidays as part of statutory leave, although not all employers do this. Employers are also free to provide additional non statutory holiday entitlement.

An employee’s actual statutory entitlement depends on how many days they work per week, but all employees including part-time, agency or casual workers are entitled to holiday. There is no statutory entitlement to holidays for the self-employed and there are special rules for those in the armed forces, police and civil protection services.

Part-time workers are entitled to a pro-rata entitlement. For example, 5.6 days holiday per year if they work one day a week. Employees who work irregular days or hours or that are in the first year of a new job can use HMRC’s holiday entitlement calculator to work out how many days they are entitled to.

HMRC is clear that workers have the right to:

  • get paid for leave;
  • build up holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity and adoption leave;
  • build up holiday entitlement while off work sick;
  • request holiday at the same time as sick leave.

Any employee that has a problem with their holiday pay should try and resolve the issue with their employer. If this does not work, there are a number of ways to resolve the dispute including contacting ACAS or taking the employer to an employment tribunal.

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