Annual Leave

Paid annual leave is a legal right that must be provided to workers and employees.

Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, most workers have a right to 5.6 weeks’ holiday, which equates to 28 days’ leave for a full-time worker, including Bank Holidays.

A part-time worker’s right to holiday is pro-rated to the number of days he or she works. For example, if you work 3 days per week, holiday is calculated by multiplying 3 by 5.6. This equates to 16.8 days of annual paid leave. When a new worker joins part way through a year his or her leave entitlement for the remainder of the leave year should be calculated on a pro rata basis.

Your contract may provide rights to holiday leave above the statutory minimum. 

Can I get payment in lieu of taking holiday?

Payment in lieu of holiday cannot be taken unless your employment has terminated, in which case you are entitled to a payment for any accrued but unused holiday for that year. 

Can I carry over unused holiday?

If you have not taken all your holiday in a leave year, whether you can carry over untaken days will depend on the terms in your contract.

If you were off sick and unable to take holiday, to comply with the Working Time Regulations 1998, your employer should allow you to carry over a maximum of 20 of your 28 days’ leave entitlement (or pro-rated equivalent) if you couldn’t take annual leave because you were off sick. 

What is included in my holiday pay?

Various factors such as overtime, commission payments and incentive/performance related bonuses should be taken into account when calculating holiday pay. Payments such as benefits in kind and one-off bonuses should not usually be taken into account. 

What can I do if I have a problem with holiday or holiday pay?

You can talk to your employer informally in the first instance to try to resolve the issue. If that does not work, you may need to lodge a grievance. If the issue remains unresolved, you could bring a claim in an Employment Tribunal.

You could bring a claim under the Working Time Regulations 1998, an unlawful deduction from wages claim under the Employment Rights Act 1996 or a breach of contract claim, depending on the facts of the case. There are strict time limits to submit your claim.

There is a limit of two years on the amount of back pay that can be claimed in most unlawful deductions claims.

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