Holiday Rights

The minimum amount of paid leave you are entitled to as a full time employee and/or worker (in line with the Working Time Regulations) is 28 days per annum (5.6 weeks), inclusive of bank and public holidays.

If you are a part-time employee, you are entitled to the pro rata amount of holiday (based on the number of days or hours you work) calculated against the full-time entitlement.

There are few legal requirements governing holiday leave in the Working time Regulations. This leaves it to the employer to manage the details regarding holiday which should be set out either in your contract of employment or in a staff handbook. These documents are are likely to include when your leave year starts, whether you can carry holiday over from one leave year to the next, and what procedures you should follow for booking your holiday.


The policy behind the Working Time Regulations and the minimum holiday requirements is the recognition that workers need time off.  For this reason is not lawful for the minimum number of holidays (28 days) to be carried over from one year to the next.

However, many employers provide workers with holiday over and above the minimum.  In this case it is up to your employer, to decide whether they will allow you to carry over any holiday above the minimum 28 days  from one year to the next.  That said, exceptions apply in cases where an employee is off work due to long term sickness and for those on maternity or parental leave. 


If you leave your employment, any unused holiday should be included with your final pay.  If you have taken more holiday than you are entitled to then you do not have to pay back the excess unless you have agreed in writing to do so.  Although most employers will include a clause, allowing them to do so in your contract of employment.


In 2014 two important cases were heard regarding the calculation of holiday pay.  The impact of these decisions is that holiday pay should reflect the workers 'normal pay'; meaning if a worker receives regular (but not ad-hoc) payments such as commission, a shift bonus and on-call payments these payments should be taken into account when calculating his or her holiday pay. This is done by working out the your average pay over the preceding 12 weeks.  One gloss on this is that this method of calculating holiday pay only applies to 4 weeks (20 days) holiday.  Therefore, any holiday entitlement over and above 20 days can be paid at the basic pay rate.

Further, and as a result about concerns about a rise in claims new legislation (in the Working Time Regulations) was  introduced by the Government to prevent a deluge of claims.  This provides that workers from 1 July 2015 can only claim up to two years back dated holiday pay.

If you would like more information about your holiday leave entitlement, Ashby Cohen can help you. Please contact us for an initial free consultation.

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