After working hard in the office, every employee deserves a holiday where they can relax and spend some time with their families. However, the thought of losing salary during this period makes employees reluctant to take a holiday – a holiday that can rejuvenate them and make them more efficient in handling the workload. The good news is companies, by law, are required to provide annual paid holidays to their employees so they can enjoy their much-deserved vacations without any financial stress. Read on to find out more about holiday pay and how it is calculated.


What are paid holidays?

What are the holiday pay rules?

How is holiday pay calculated?

Do paid holidays reflect overtime and include public holidays and bank holidays?

How to ask for leave?

Carrying over holiday


What are paid holidays?


All full-time, part-time, and under zero-hours contract workers are entitled to holiday pay entitlement. The purpose of holidays with pay is to ensure that the workers do not suffer a financial loss while taking their much-deserved vacation. Holiday pay in the UK accumulates from the day an employee starts working and continues to build up during various leaves.

What are the holiday pay rules?


By law, a full-time employee is entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks or 28 days of leave per year, which includes bank holidays. However, your employer can even choose to give you more holidays than the holiday pay entitlement. The holiday pays for 0-hour contract workers, and part-time employees are also 5.6 weeks and calculated on a pro-rata basis.

How is holiday pay calculated?


While calculating paid holidays for full-time employees is easy, calculating holiday pay in the UK for 0-hour contract workers, agency workers, and part-time employees takes some work.

For calculating paid holidays use the following formula:

5.6 x the number of days in your usual working week.

You need to take the average hours and pay worked over the last 52 weeks and calculate the average weekly pay to determine how much you will pay for the holidays.

If you are still confused about how to calculate holiday pay, you can use a holiday pay entitlement calculator to make things easier for you.

Do paid holidays reflect overtime and include public holidays and bank holidays?


After changes in UK holiday pay rules, it is now recognised that holidays with pay must be the ‘normal’ wages. Thus, when employers ask the employees to work overtime and are paid for it, these overtime payments must be considered when calculating their holiday pay. The same is the case with commissions and bonuses. However, employers are not obliged to include overtime in holiday pay if the overtime is ad-hoc and not regular. Similarly, an employer does not have to give bank or public holidays.

How to ask for leave?


All employees with a contract of employment are eligible for holiday pay entitlement, so there is no need to lie, and an employee can tell their employer that they want leave for holidays. However, you do not have the absolute right to decide the dates of your annual leave. If your employer has a genuine reason, they can refuse to give you the leave on particular dates. Therefore, it is a good idea to ask for your holiday leaves and dates at least twice the number of days in advance as the number of days you want the leave for. An employer has the right to refuse holiday leaves to their employees if it is a busy period at work or other employees are also taking a leave, which can hamper the work. However, just like the employer, the employee should also notify about the cancellation of the holiday leaves in advance. If the employee feels there is no reason for refusing the leaves and they are being discriminated against, they can complain to HR.

An employer can also set a specific period for you every year when you can take holiday leaves. If this is the case, they should tell the employee in advance, which should also be mentioned in the contract.

Carrying over holiday


In most cases, the employee has no right to carry forward their holiday leave entitlement. In cases where the employer allows you to carry forward your paid holidays, it is usually restricted by a certain number e.g., cannot be more than eight days. Also, sometimes the employer can set the condition that these carried-over holidays must be used within a specific period and allow to carry them forward for a maximum of 18 months. It is required by law to carry forward holidays when you cannot take your holiday due to sickness, injury, or maternity leave.


How much holiday pay am I entitled to according to holiday pay rules in the UK?

Almost all workers are legally eligible for 5.6 weeks of paid holiday a year. However, this calculation can get complex for part-time employees and shift workers and can be done with a holiday entitlement UK calculator.

Can I get holiday pay when leaving a company?

When you leave your job, you can take the accrued statutory holiday entitlement you have left before leaving.

Is holiday pay mandatory?

Yes, it is mandatory for employers in the UK to provide paid holidays for the holiday allowance the employee is legally entitled. Employees can use a holiday pay rate calculator to determine how many holidays they are lawfully entitled to.

Will I get holiday pay for public/bank holidays?

If your company does not operate on bank holidays, then you will get paid time off during the public/bank holidays.

Can I take paid holidays as soon as I join a new company?

In the first year of your new job, your employer can require you to wait until you have enough accumulated holiday allowance. Your holiday allowance can be less than 5.6 weeks in case you have joined the company mid-year.

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With home and now hybrid working part of the new reality, increased absence due to the endemic Covid-19 variants, and the threat of industrial action targeted at disrupting commuters, having a good, trustworthy, and intuitive leave management system has never been so important.

Failure to implement such a plan can have unfortunate consequences on your administrative overhead, staff morale and productivity, and ultimately your bottom line. There might also be legal issues. With all that in mind, let’s look at some of the problems you could face.

Increased costs

Inefficiently executed management tasks result in increased costs. For example, using standard spreadsheet tools or other outdated systems to keep track of leave will inevitably result in errors and wasted time. In addition, it is often difficult for line managers to track who is on leave and staff availability, especially when the HR department doesn’t have instant access to relevant and accurate information.

Failing to plan to ensure that adequate staff is available to meet critical deadlines can result in severe financial penalties, customer dissatisfaction, and lost business opportunities. It can also lead to increased stress levels and reduced productivity.

Reduced employee engagement and morale

Inaccurate holiday tracking can have disproportionate effects and employee engagement and morale. In addition, manual systems are inevitably error-prone and can lead to misunderstandings between staff and their line managers. In such situations, leave requests could be denied unjustifiably. Individuals might lose track of the leave they have due, and disputes might arise that require HR intervention, all of which are time-consuming, costly, and demotivational.

These problems could all be avoided by the application of a staff holiday planner that, at the very least, would ensure that everybody has access to up-to-date, accurate information.

Excess overtime and employee burnout

As we have mentioned, poor leave management can result in insufficient staff during critical periods. The potential implications are far further reaching than might meet the eye. Inevitably remaining staff will be required to work longer hours to achieve deadlines. Extra overtime probably leads to increased overheads, staff who are already working hard suddenly faced with being expected to work even harder could find it difficult to cope. Such pressures could lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety.

Ultimately vulnerable individuals could be facing burnout with long-term consequences to the employee and the business. You should also consider the possibility that by placing excessive pressure on your staff, you open yourself up to legal issues such as being taken to a tribunal by an employee with constructive dismissal claims.

Increased staff turnover

If the business cannot implement accurate holiday tracking using an up-to-date staff holiday planner, then the implication is that it cares little for the welfare of its staff. Undervaluing your employees is a sure-fire way to anger them, which could lead them to question why they work for you. Such discontent can spread quickly through a workforce, resulting in increased discontent and staff turnover.

Increased staff turnover might be the severest penalty of all those we have mentioned. It can impact every aspect of the business, including the effectiveness of your workforce, poor customer satisfaction, and high recruitment and training costs. Often it is the best talent that can readily find opportunities elsewhere; thus, you could be losing the most talented members of your team.

A stitch in time saves nine

A stitch in time saves nine; in other words, taking early action can avoid subsequent catastrophe. In addition, by implementing a state-of-the-art leave management system, you can avoid a range of issues with their resultant penalties.

LeaveWizard might be the perfect solution. It is easy to implement, readily tailored to your specific needs and environment, and accessible remotely to all your staff.

Part-time workers enjoy the same benefits of statuary sick pay (SSP) as do full-time workers. Therefore, managing employee absence for part-time staff is essentially no different from standard absence management for full-time staff, but there are some provisos. For instance, you need to understand the difference between part-time workers, workers on zero-hours contracts, and agricultural workers.

Government regulations on SSP

To qualify for SSP, employees must satisfy various criteria, namely:

· They must be employed under an employment contract

· Earn a minimum of £123 a week on average

· Have been absent due to illness for at least four consecutive normal working days

These rules apply to both full-time and part-time workers. They all enjoy the same SSP benefits of a minimum of £95.35 a week, which is paid for up to 28 weeks. Payment is not adjusted pro-rata for the number of hours employees’ work. Everybody on a contract receives the same statutory amount, subject to tax and national insurance.

SSP for workers and zero-hours contracts

With a zero-hours contract, the employer is not obliged to provide the employee with any minimum number of working hours. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, approximately 900,000 workers are on such contracts.

However, zero-hour contract workers are entitled to SSP as long as they have carried out some paid work for the employer and have earned on average £123 a week over the previous eight weeks. If they fulfil these criteria, they are entitled to the same benefits as any other contracted worker, £95.35 a week for 28 weeks.

According to the TUC, around a third of zero-hours contract workers don’t qualify for SSP because they don’t earn the minimum required average wage of £123 a week.

SSP (ASP) for agricultural workers

Agricultural workers receive significantly different sick pay than non-agricultural workers. Rather than receiving SSP, they receive ASP, which is equivalent to the minimum agricultural pay rate for their contracted hours for the days they are off sick after the first three days. This applies equally to full and part-time workers. ASP includes their SSP entitlement. However, to qualify for ASP, workers must have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months. The number of weeks over which workers can claim ASP depends on the number of years the individual has worked. It is based on a sliding scale of 13 weeks for one to two years of employment up to 26 weeks for five years and more.

A brief history of sick pay

Although £95.35 a week of sick pay is unlikely to pay all your bills, workers were lucky to receive sick pay at all in the past. The government introduced SSP in April 1983 as part of the Social Security Act. SSP replaced contributory sickness benefit funded by National Insurance. Initially, SSP was paid for the first eight weeks of sickness only.

Although the Social Security Act meant that employers rather than the government must pay SSP, employers could reclaim the money from the government. However, that changed in 1991 with the Statutory Sick Pay Act, reducing the amount employers could recover, though small employers could claim it all.

In April 2014, the government changed the rules – from that date, the Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS), which stated the amount of SSP employers could recover, was abolished. As a result, employers with more than 250 employees can no longer reclaim SSP.

Keeping track of sick leave with Leave-Wizard

While you can record and track sick pay using a spreadsheet, this method is too time-consuming and subject to human error for most employers. A far better solution is to use a staff holiday planner such as Leave-Wizard, which incorporates an advanced management system.

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They used to be called public holidays, though today we know them as Bank Holidays. They were, after all, created by a banker. While you might have already been aware of that, here are ten interesting Bank Holiday facts that might surprise you.

1. There used to be 33 public holidays

Before 1834 there used to be an astonishing 33 public holidays that celebrated religious festivals and Saint’s Days; however, in 1934, the powers decided that was too many, so they reduced them to four.

2. Sir John Lubbock created modern bank holidays in 1871

Liberal MP, banker and polymath who also communicated with Charles Darwin on evolution, created the first bank holidays in 1871 through the Bank Holidays Bill. Informally called “St Lubbock Days”, they included Easter Monday, Whit Monday, the first Monday in August and Boxing Day. The bill added these to the existing two official holidays – Christmas Day and Good Friday – making six days in total – though previously, Whit Monday and Easter Monday were also generally considered holidays.

3. Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 now regulates UK bank holidays

In 1971 the Banking and Financial Dealings Act, which regulates Bank Holidays in the UK, restated the then-existing Bank Holidays Bill without granting any extra days off. Still, New Year’s Day was added as a Bank Holliday in 1974, and May Day was introduced in 1978.

4. Nowadays, new Bank Holidays are made by Royal Proclamation

Although the Queen isn’t directly involved in making the decision, new and special holidays are announced by Royal Proclamation – they don’t require an act of parliament. This system adds flexibility to the system.

5. Bank holidays in lieu

Should a bank holiday fall on a weekend, which can only apply to Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Saint’s Days, the holiday is taken in lieu at either side of the weekend.

6. England and Wales don’t do as well as Scotland and Ireland

While currently, there are eight bank holidays in England and Wales, Scotland enjoys an extra day off, making nine, and Ireland gets ten. In Ireland, St Patrick’s Day and Orangemen’s Day are bank holidays and in Scotland, so are 2nd January and St Andrew’s Day, though Scotland doesn’t get Easter Monday.

7. We have fewer bank holidays than most other places in the world

The only country with fewer public holidays than the UK is Mexico which has just seven. India has the most, with 21 public days off.

8. What became of Whit Monday Bank Holiday?

Whit Monday, also known as Pentecost Monday and celebrated by the Christian Church, was also a bank holiday. However, from 1965 to 1970, it was, as a trial, moved to the final Monday in May. Presumably, they found that this worked well, so it was moved officially to that day by the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971. We now call it Spring Bank Holiday.

9. The government almost moved May Day to October

While we associate May Day with Morris Men and dancing round the Maypole, in 2011, the Coalition Government attempted to move it to October and rename it either UK Day or Trafalgar Day. They intended to extend the holiday season. However, they were unsuccessful as opponents to the change argued that doing so would damage May Day festivals.

10. The TUC want four additional bank holidays – will we get them?

In 2021 the TUC called on the government to add four additional bank holidays. However, while we will get an extra day by Royal proclamation which will be added to bank holidays 2022 to celebrate the Queens Platinum Jubilee, that is a one-off and there is little sign the government is listening to the TUC’s pleas. So, the short answer is “No”.

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When moving into an employee management role, everybody, and if not everybody then at least most of us, make mistakes, sometimes glaring mistakes that come back to haunt us. However, mistakes are there to learn from, and anyone who wants to become a good and possibly highly regarded people manager will strive to learn from them. Here we provide a few tips that if you take on board should help you achieve your goals and become the best people manager you can be.

1. Be truthful and honest

Nobody wants a liar as their manager. Deceiving your employees or being less than honest will demotivate them and make them feel insecure. Keeping them informed of any changes that may affect them, and answering their worries and concerns honestly, will make them feel valued and a respected member of the team.

2. Be positive

Both positivity and negativity are highly infections in any work environment. As a people manager, you should focus on the positive side of the coin. This applies even if you disagree with what’s coming down from above. That isn’t to say that you should break the honesty rule stated above but always focus on the plus side. Never forget that you are the boss.

3. Avoid micromanaging

Team members will appreciate being allowed to get on with the job without too much interference from the boss. Unfortunately, some managers can’t help but get involved in the detail, which frustrates the staff and leads to resentment. The more responsibility you give them, the harder they will work. Try to encourage them to care about what the business aims to achieve.

4. Be brave and learn to delegate

Delegating is both an art and a science and is much more complicated than you think. As you carry the can for others’ mistakes, the tendency is to hang on to the reins. Instead, trust your team to make decisions for themselves and provide adequate support. It’s a matter of finding the right balance – you will find you get better at it with practice.

5. Give praise where praise is due

A good people manager praises his team when things go right and takes personal responsibility when things go wrong. So always be generous with praise when praise is due and supportive when things go wrong. That’s not to say that you should avoid criticism, but do it discreetly, privately, and positively when you need to criticise.

6. Absorb the pressure

When you are under pressure from above to achieve project goals, try to absorb that pressure rather than pass it on to the team. Of course, you should inform them of the situation and encourage them to make an extra effort but do it with kindness and encouragement rather than cracking the whip.

7. Don’t overwork your team

They say that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and while this is to an extent true, it can result in overwork, decreased productivity and potentially burnout. Knowing when somebody is working too much can be challenging to spot, but always encourage your staff to take time off when they need it and always take their allocated leave allowance. Leave management is an essential facet of managing people.

8. Develop a feedback culture

Feedback is crucial in any well-managed team. Good managers develop a feedback culture in which everyone is equipped to give and receive feedback to their colleagues and bosses, including you. Honest feedback is a great way to develop as a team and for you to grow as a people manager.

9. Know something about everyone

One of the best people managers the author has come across made sure that he knew the name and something about every employee who worked for him – over two hundred people. He worked hard on it, and it paid off. We all liked him, relished his visits, and were determined to work a little bit harder for him.

10. Be your best

Why not, every morning, decide that today you will be the very best version of yourself? Make that promise to yourself and keep it. The positivity you will create will not only make you feel so much better about yourself, but it will also rub off on the members of your team.

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