The position concerning holidays, bank holidays and part-time workers can be complex.
Full time workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks (28 days) of annual leave per annum. Under the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, part time workers have the right to a proportion of the 5.6 weeks paid annual leave (28 days including bank holidays) due to 5-day week workers, pro-rated to fit the number of hours they work.
If employers choose to award more holiday than the statutory entitlement, part time employees will also receive the additional entitlement on a pro rata basis.
For example, if full-time workers are entitled to 33 days’ holiday per year (including Bank Holidays), a part timer working 4 days per week would be entitled to 26.4 days’ holiday per year, calculated as follows (4 ÷ 5 x 33 = 26.4). Note – leave may be rounded up, to 26.5 days for example, but it may not be rounded down.
Bank Holidays and part timers
Under the Working Time Regulations, the usual 8 Bank holidays are not in addition to the statutory paid annual leave entitlement of 5.6 weeks (28 days), although some employers choose to give these days as additional leave.
Should full-time workers get bank holidays in addition to their annual leave entitlement, difficulties can arise in employing a consistent approach across full time and part time worker calculations. This is because most bank holidays fall on a Monday, so a part-timer who works on a Monday will have a higher proportion of their holidays ‘fixed’ than a colleague working on a Tuesday or Wednesday.
For example, if a part timer works on a Monday, at least 4 days of their holiday will be fixed bank holidays. However, should a part timer work on Tuesdays rather than Mondays, they will only incur fixed bank holidays when Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day occur on a Tuesday.
Should an employee be scheduled to work on a Bank Holiday and takes this day off as a fixed days’ holiday, their overall holiday entitlement should be reduced by one day.
If an employee is not normally contracted or scheduled to work on a day when a bank holiday falls, this does not affect their holiday entitlement as it is not a working day.
The simplest and fairest way of calculating entitlement for part timers is to deal with all holidays as an inclusive amount. Therefore, if a full-time employee is entitled to 20 days annual leave plus 8 bank holidays, this gives a total of 28 days per annum and can be expressed as 5.6 weeks’ holiday (28 ÷ 5 = 5.6). Calculating leave in this way ensures employers will always meet the statutory minimum.
A part timer’s total entitlement can be calculated in the same way. For example, an employee working 3 days per week would be entitled to 5.6 x 3 = 16.8 days of holiday per annum, rounded up to 17 days.
Or, an employee working 4 days a week would be entitled 5.6 x 4 = 22.4 days of holiday per annum, rounded to 22.5 days.
These calculations include the bank holiday entitlement.
Calculating annual leave as a number of hours per annum
When someone works irregular hours or different hours each day, it is simpler and fairer to calculate holiday entitlement as a number of hours per annum.
So, if full-time employees are entitled to 20 days’ annual leave plus 8 bank holidays (28 days in total per annum) the entitlement of a part time worker who works 20 hours per week would be calculated as follows:
20 (hours per week) x 5.6 = 112 hours holiday per year
This calculation includes the bank holiday entitlement.
If a part-timer works 3 hours on a Wednesday and 6 hours on a Thursday and wishes to take these days as holiday, their annual entitlement would be reduced by 9 hours.
Limits on statutory leave
Statutory paid holiday entitlement is limited to 28 days. For example, employees working 6 days a week are still only entitled to 28 days’ paid holiday.
Other aspects of holiday entitlement
Workers have the right to:
get paid for leave
build up (‘accrue’) 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
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