All UK workers are entitled to at least 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year, inclusive of bank holidays. For full-time staff on a five-day week, this means 28 working days and, for part-time staff, this is calculated pro-rata. Staff working more than five days a week still only get 28 working days. It is good practice for employers to set out employees’ annual leave entitlement in an Annual leave policy.
This entitlement applies not only to employees but also to other staff who provide services personally to you unless they are in business on their own account. This means certain consultants or contractors must be given paid holiday.
There is no legal requirement for staff to have time off on bank or public holidays or to receive extra pay for working those days. However, many employers offer this.
For example, if a place of work is closed on bank holidays, the employer can make staff take these days as part of their annual leave entitlement. By doing so, the employee has no choice about taking a holiday on the bank holiday and can only choose when to take the remaining days. Record clearly what your workplace arrangements are for bank holidays in the Employment contract or Annual leave policy.
Requiring holiday to be taken
Employers can require workers to take their holiday on a certain date by giving twice as much notice as the amount of holiday required (eg two weeks’ notice of one week’s holiday) unless something different is stated in the contract. Except for on termination, employers cannot 'buy out' the right to holidays.
Holiday on termination of employment
When workers leave, you must pay them for accrued but untaken holidays in respect of the statutory minimum holiday requirement (ie 28 days). For any holiday above the statutory minimum and calculating the payment due for any unused holiday, you can set your own rules in the Employment contract or Annual leave policy.
For more information, read How to calculate holiday entitlement.