The legal obligation to provide paid holiday not only extends to full-time workers, but to part-time workers, agency workers and casual workers as well. However, it’s important to calculate the exact amount of holiday a particular worker is entitled to, to stay compliant with the law. The exact amount of holiday will depend on the type of employee or worker they are. You can calculate an individual worker's statutory holiday entitlement by using the Government's web tool.
Full-time workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks (28 days) paid holiday per year, if they work 5 days a week.
5.6 weeks is the maximum amount of paid holiday an employee is obliged to provide in the working year. If an employee works more than 5 days a week (ie 6 or 7), they will still only be entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday a year. An employer can choose to offer more leave than the legal minimum. Employers can also decide whether to include bank and public holidays as part of a worker's holiday entitlement or give these as extra leave days which can be taken at a later date.
Part-time workers are entitled to paid holiday, however, they don't need to be given the full legal minimum as they work less than full-time workers. Part-time workers are given paid holiday on a pro-rata basis. This means that their holiday entitlement is calculated based on how many days or hours a week they work.
For example, if a part-time employee worked 4 days a week, they would be entitled to 22.4 days of paid holiday in a year. The calculation is 4 days x 5.6 weeks. Where the answer is not a round number, you should always round up to the nearest half day. For example, a worker who is working 3 days a week gets 17 days of annual leave, although the actual entitlement is 16.8 days.
It is also important to remember that part-time workers should not be treated less favourably than full-time workers. For example, if full-time employees are given extra days off then this must also be given to part-time employees as well.
Workers on casual or irregular working hours
This mainly applies to casual staff or workers on Zero-hours contracts.
Zero-hours workers are also entitled to statutory paid holiday. Calculating the amount of holiday a worker on a casual contract can be complicated and it's best to calculate it on an accrual basis in hours.
The holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equal to 12.07% of the hours a casual worker has worked. You then multiply 12.07% by the number of hours worked by the worker to calculate how much holiday entitlement they should have.
For example, if a worker on a zero-hours contract has worked 10 hours then they would be entitled to 1.21 hours (or 72.6 minutes) of paid holiday. The calculation is 12.07% x 10 hours.
Shift workers' holiday entitlement is calculated by using an average of their shifts over a 12-week period.