Almost all workers are legally entitled to paid holiday every year. How much holiday they are entitled to depends on their contract and how many hours they work. Self employed persons are not entitled to holiday pay if they take time off of their work.

Most workers who work 5 days a week are entitled to 28 days paid leave a year. Part time workers are also entitled to holiday leave – the same minimum of 5.6 weeks, however this will amount to fewer actual days of paid leave then their full-time counter-parts would get.

Holiday entitlements are worked out by multiplying their hours by the 5.6 weeks minimum entitlement. This is easy to work out if the hours are regular, but if the hours are irregular it can be harder to calculate. There is a handy Holiday Entitlement Calculator on the website to help you determine the amount of holiday you should be giving your staff.

Annual holiday entitlements start to build up as soon as an employee starts to work for a company. When they start their job, they should told when their leave year will start and finish. Employees must make sure they take any leave entitlement during this time, although it may be possible with employer consent to “carry forward” any unused holiday to the next leave year.

If a contract doesn’t state when the leave year starts then depending when it was signed will depend on the period it will cover. If the first day of employment was after the 1st of October 1998 then the annual leave period will start on the first day of the new job. If started on or before the 1st of October 1998 then the annual leave period will start on the 1st of October of each year.

Bank holidays and other public holidays are not necessarily added onto paid leave, it is at the discretion of the employer if they are given as part of the employee’s statutory holiday leave or not. An employer can choose to offer more than the legal minimum if they wish, and if they do then they do not have to apply all the same rules to the extra leave that are applied to the statutory leave. As an example, one of the conditions may be that the employee has to have been employed for a certain period of time before they are entitled to the extra days holiday.

Employees have certain other rights concerning their holiday entitlements as well as the number of hours for which it lasts, these include:

    • They have the right to be paid for their leave time – They are entitled to a weeks pay for each week of leave they take.



    • They may build up their holiday entitlement even if they are of work due to sickness or injury.


  • They may opt to take holiday leave instead of having sick leave – (many choose to do this if they have used up their existing sick leave entitlements for the year rather than loose pay).

Ensuring that workers are getting all the holiday entitlement they are entitled to can be a complex thing, and if you have several workers then it becomes yet more complex. It may be that it could be easier both for you and your staff if you employ a specialist HR advisor to help you ensure that all your employee’s needs are met.