Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, all workers have the right to paid holidays. The term “workers” includes full and part-timers, as well as most agency and freelance workers.
Full time entitlement:
Also known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave, this is an entitlement of 28 days, or the equivalent of 5.6 weeks per year.
There is a limit to statutory entitlement. For example, employees working 6 days per week are only entitled to 28 days holiday.
As bank holidays do not have to be given as paid leave, an employer can choose to include days off work on bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave.
Part time entitlement:
As holiday pay is paid pro-rata, part-time workers are entitled to fewer than 28 days: part-time worker entitlement is correlated to their working hours each week.
HMRC has a handy holiday entitlement calculator
Shifts and irregular hours entitlement
For employees working shifts, either part-time or full-time, with set contracted hours, a week’s holiday pay is worked out as the average number of weekly fixed hours they completed in the previous 12 weeks, using their average hourly rate.
For zero-hour contract employees or casual staff, a week’s holiday pay is calculated as the average pay the worker received in the previous 12 weeks.
An employer can choose to offer more leave than the legal minimum. In this case, the employer is free to make their own arrangements and rules for these extra days. For example, an employee might be required to have a certain number of years of service before they can benefit from the extra entitlement.
Notes on holiday entitlement:
Employees must get paid for leave
Holiday entitlement must be accrued (built up) during maternity, paternity and adoption leave; this also applies to accruing holiday entitlement while absent from work due to illness.
Employees can request holiday at the same time as sick leave
On leaving the company, employees must be paid for the holiday entitlement they have accrued but not taken
Get the full details on holiday entitlement
Disclaimer: this article is only intended as an overview of the legislation. You must always check directly with HMRC, ACAS or your own legal consultant for further information.