What is the minimum holiday entitlement for staff?

What is the minimum holiday entitlement we need to provide staff and should that include bank holidays? Also does this information need to be included within HR documentation?

The minimum statutory paid annual leave entitlement for employees is 5.6 weeks’ per year. This entitles an employee working five days a week to 28 days’ paid annual leave.

Part-time workers are legally entitled to the same amount of holidays as full-time employees, but calculated on a pro-rata basis. Employers may place an annual cap of 28 days per year meaning that employees working more than five days a week will not actually receive 5.6 of their working weeks.

Bank holidays can be included in the 5.6 week entitlement. Employees do not have a right to annual leave on bank holidays, but if a bank holiday is worked, the employer must provide another day off so that the minimum of 5.6 weeks is still achieved.

Employers also have the choice to provide more leave than the statutory minimum. They can choose whether to apply additional rules in order for employees to be entitled to this additional leave.

Furthermore, where an employee takes four weeks’ annual leave, they may be allowed to carry the rest of their leave forward to the following year provided that the terms and conditions of employment allow for this.

At the end of the employment, if the employee has not taken all of their accrued annual leave, they have the right to be paid in lieu of it.

The holiday entitlement must be included in the statement of main terms.

The contract of employment must be signed by both the employer and employee, and this can serve as evidence that the employee has read and agreed to the terms and conditions.

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services.

Further reading on holiday leave

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