Holiday entitlement

Calculating holiday entitlement made easy

Holiday entitlement

When you employ staff you’ll need to calculate the amount of holiday they’re entitled to. The amount of annual leave an employee is entitled to differs depending on several factors. However it’s not as complicated as it seems, and you definitely don’t have to be good at maths to understand it.

The basics

All workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday in the working year. So for a full-time worker who works a normal 5-day week, this will equal 28 days of paid holiday. The calculation is multiplying 5.6 weeks by the number of days the employee works a week.

This also applies to part-time employees who don’t work the normal 5-day week. Employees who work more than 5-days a week (ie 6 or 7 days a week) will still only be legally entitled to 28 days of holiday. Of course, employers can give their employees more than the legal minimum.

Part-time workers

Part-time workers are given holiday on a pro-rata basis. This means that they get given a proportion of the 28 days holidays based on the number of days they work in a week. So for example if an employee works 3 days a week then they will be entitled to 16.8 days of holiday. The calculation is 3 days x 5.6 weeks = 16.8 days.

Holiday entitlement

Holiday entitlement

Bank holidays

Bank holidays can be confusing for employers and employees as many people don’t understand how these affect holiday entitlement.

The simple answer is that it’s down to the employer to decide. Employers can choose whether bank holidays are included or excluded in the 5.6 weeks entitlement. There is no automatic right to have bank holidays off. So in theory, for an employee who works 5 days a week, the employer can make an employee take bank holidays off and include this in their annual holiday entitlement.

For example: An employee who works 5-days a week is entitled to 28 days annual leave. If the employer wishes to include bank holidays as part of the annual leave then the employee has no choice but to take the 8 bank holidays (currently there are 8 bank holidays in a year) and then has 20 days in which the employee can choose to take off when they want.

Workers on casual or irregular hours

These types of workers are a bit more complex as their working hours are irregular. However all workers are entitled to paid holiday. Workers can accrue holiday entitlement based on the hours they work. The number to be aware of here is 12.07%. This number is the proportion of holiday a worker is entitled to based on the hours they work.

So for example if someone works 10 hours in a week, they are entitled to 72.6 minutes of paid holiday. The calculation is 12.07% x 10 = 1.21 hours (72.6 minutes).

For further information read How to calculate holiday entitlement. Alternatively you can use the Government’s handy webtool which will calculate how much holiday an employee is entitled to when you enter some basic details. So there really is no excuse for getting it wrong. It really is easy as 1 2 3.

Alan Cheung

Paralegal at Rocket Lawyer
Alan is a paralegal at Rocket Lawyer UK. He has a law degree from the University of Westminster and has recently graduated from the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School. He is passionate about employment law and intellectual property and strongly believes in accessible and affordable legal services.
Alan Cheung