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?
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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