Holiday Entitlement

All information correct from September 2019.

Holiday entitlement, also known as annual leave is an entitlement almost all workers have. Even if you love your job, everyone deserves a break. Booking time off can feel stressful, especially if you're unsure of what to do or if you don't know your rights. However, having a break is essential to your well being and your work-life balance. You may feel at times that you can't take time off, because of pressures from work, such as deadlines, meetings and other factors. But annual leave is your right, and you're allowed to take time off when you want.

Annual Leave

Depending on your type of contract, your annual leave varies from how much you can take paid time off. Almost all workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday. These include agency workers, workers with irregular hours and workers on zero hour contracts. We will break down what each contract type is entitled too:

  • Part-time workers (who work three days a week) are entitled to at least 17 days paid annual leave a year.

  • Full-time workers (who work five days a week) are entitled to at least 28 days of paid annual leave a year.

  • People who work irregular hours, such as shift work need to calculate their entitlement, but they have a right to paid time off for each hour they work.

Holiday Pay

You're legally entitled to be paid your regular wages while on annual leave. However, if your income varies each week, your holiday allowance will reflect what you have earned on average - this usually is the last 12 weeks that you have worked. You're not entitled to holiday pay if you're self-employed. To request annual leave, you may have to follow certain proceeders. The procedure will vary from workplace to workplace and will also depend on what it says in your contract. You may have to give notice to your manager or HR department before you can request a holiday. Usually, this notice period is as twice as long as the days you want off. For example, for a four days holiday, you will need to have a notice period of eight days before you leave. However, these guidelines will vary per organisation. Make sure to check your contract and see what the done thing is at your company.

Bank Holiday

The Bank Holiday dates for 2019/2020 are as follows;

  • 26 August - Monday - Summer Bank Holiday
  • 25 December - Wednesday - Christmas Day
  • 26 December - Thursday - Boxing Day
  • 1 January - Wednesday - New Year's Day
  • 10 April - Friday - Good Friday
  • 13 April - Monday - Easter Monday
  • 8 May - Friday - May Bank Holiday
  • 25 May - Monday - Spring Bank Holiday
  • 31 August - Monday - Summer Bank Holiday
  • 25 December - Friday - Christmas Day
  • 28 December - Monday - Boxing Day (Because Christmas falls on a Friday in 2020, Boxing day is now on the 28.)

By law, your employer doesn't have to give you paid leave on Bank Holidays. There is also no legal right to give you time off for Bank Holidays, though it is common practice to give time off. Employers can require you to work Bank Holidays; however, a good employer will pay you overtime or enhanced time off in lieu as compensation. You should read what your contract says about Bank Holidays to make sure what your rights are.

Holiday Accrual

Some contracts say you need to accrue your holiday entitlement. Accruement means that you need to earn your time off. The more you work, the more you can take off. If you have a particularly mean employer, they may decide that Bank Holidays are also apart of your entitled 5.6 weeks a year off work, too. Unfortunately, there isn't anything you can do about this, especially if it is in your signed contract.

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