Since 1 April 2009, the statutory minimum annual holiday entitlement is 5.6 working weeks of paid holiday per year - including any bank holidays. This adds up to 28 days for a worker who has a five-day week. This is the statutory minimum number of holidays; some employers may decide to give more.
Holiday allowances for part-time employees should be calculated based on their work patterns or hours. For example, a part-time employee who works five morning shifts per week would be entiled to 28 paid mornings off per year. Part-timers are entitled to a pro-rata equivalent of full-timers’ holidays. Any bank holidays that fall on their working days and which they are allowed to take are counted towards their entitlement. If you’ve got a part-time employee who works three full days a week, for example, their allowance would be three-fifths of the annual 28-day entitlement – 16.8 days. An employee who works two days a week would be entitled to 11.2 paid holiday days off per year, and so on.
Part-year workers and irregular hours workers
In 2022, the Supreme Court confirmed that part-year workers (which includes term-time workers) were entitled to a statutory minimum holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks that shouldn’t be pro-rated or reduced to reflect that they don’t work through the whole year. They made a distinction between part-year and parttime workers, and it’s very important not to confuse the difference. However, on 1 January 2024, new legislation was introduced that gives the option to state that partyear workers/employees and irregular hours workers only accrue holiday when they work. These workers can still accrue holiday when they’re on sick leave, family-related statutory leave. However, separate rules apply when calculating this accrual. The legislation also gives you the option to say that these workers can only take holiday once it has been accrued and the option to pay rolled-up holiday pay (see below). These new rules can be introduced for part-year/ irregular hours workers for holiday years that start on or after 1 April 2024 - so if your holiday year runs from January to December, this accrual method and/or rolled-up holiday pay can be used for these workers from 1 January 2025.
What is rolled-up holiday pay?
Rolled-up holiday pay means paying an uplift to pay each pay period, which represents their holiday pay. The minimum uplift would be 12.07% based on a 5.6 week holiday entitlement. If you give more holiday than 5.6 weeks, then the uplift should be adjusted accordingly - e.g., if you give six weeks holiday the uplift would be 13.04%. This uplift should be separated out on the payslip and it’s important for Health & Safety reasons that employees/workers still take time off work, even though they wouldn’t be paid during these holiday periods
What is an irregular hours worker/ employee?
Irregular hours workers/employees are those whose hours of work always or mainly vary during each pay period - like a zero-hours worker
Carrying holidays forward
Requesting leave As a rule, annual leave can’t be carried from one holiday year to the next. However, there are a few exceptions to this. The new legislation introduced on 1 January 2024 confirmed that when an employee is unable to use their holiday days because of sickness, a maximum of four weeks annual leave can be carried forward for up to 18 months after the end of the leave year. It also confirmed that if an employee can’t take accrued holidays during statutory leave, like maternity or shared parental leave, holidays can be carried forward into the following holiday year. At the discretion of your business, you may choose to let employees carry a limited number of holiday days over to the next year (provided they take at least four working weeks holiday in that year). If you allow this, make sure it’s documented so that you can show they’ve agreed to and understood the terms. It’s also worth being aware that by allowing this you may be setting a precedent, and others may ask for you to exercise your discretion with them too.