What Holiday Time Are You Entitled To?

When employed you can expect to be entitled to a certain amount of holiday. However, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what holiday you are legally entitled to. Perhaps you have not been provided with a written contract that lays this out clearly, or you suspect that the amount of holiday specified on a contract may be incorrect. Either way, this article will lay out clearly what holiday workers are entitled to take, depending on their employment position and hours worked.

What Holiday Are You Eligible For

If you are classed as an employee you will be legally eligible for:

  • paid holiday days
  • A week’s pay for each week of holiday you take.
  • Accrued holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity and adoption leave
  • built up holiday entitlement while off work sick
  • the right to choose to take a holiday at the same time as sick leave

Almost all full-time workers, but not self-employed people, are entitled to just over five weeks (28 days) paid holiday per year. This is called statutory leave entitlement/annual leave. Your employer can include bank holidays as part of your statutory leave entitlement so you may receive eight bank holiday days and 20 holiday days. Some holiday days can be influenced by some hours you work.

Statutory Leave

You will be entitled to the 28 days statutory leave if you work a 5-day/40 hour week. Statutory leave entitlement is calculated by multiplying the number of days you work by the 5.6 weeks of paid holiday each year. This is calculated by multiplying an average week (5 days) by the annual entitlement of 5.6 weeks.

So, for example, if you work for four days a week, your leave will be calculated by multiplying four by 5.6 which comes to 22.4 days of paid annual leave.

If you work irregular hours, you can calculate your statutory leave entitlement by using the government calculator, which can be found here.

Statutory paid holiday entitlement is limited to 28 days, although your employer can choose to offer more leave than the legal minimum, check your employment contract for your actual amount of holiday days.

What if You Are Not Getting The Right Amount of Holiday

Paid annual leave is a right given to workers, although self-employed people are not considered workers. If you are an employee and you do not receive paid annual leave, or you do receive paid annual leave but are not sure you are receiving the right amount of paid annual leave then you should speak with your employer. If your employer is either unclear or difficult about this issue, then you should check your contract.

If you discover that you are not receiving the right amount or any of the owed annual leave, then you should approach your employer informally at first. An informal approach is recommended as this could be a genuine error on the part of your employer, and an informal approach will help maintain your employer/employee relationship.

If however, your employer is deliberately and knowingly depriving you of your right to annual leave then you should move on to raising a formal grievance with them. This will trigger a formal investigation into the situation and will, hopefully, rectify it. However, if your employer still refuses to grant you your entitlement, then you can pursue the matter at the Employment Tribunal.