Holiday Entitlement for Part-time Employees


Odin HR has the Answers

Odin HR is often asked about the calculation of annual holiday entitlement and the treatment of Bank Holidays for part-time employees. It is important that holiday is calculated and paid correctly – an employee may take breaches to an Employment Tribunal under a claim for “unlawful deduction of wages”.

The UK’s statutory minimum annual holiday entitlement is 5.6 weeks (28 days), which can include Public/Bank Holidays. (Businesses may offer a contractually higher allowance.)

Part-timers who work five days a week will receive the same annual holiday as their full-time colleagues (their holiday pay for the day will reflect their normal daily working hours).

Where part-timers are employed for less than five days per week, holiday entitlement is pro-rated according to the number of working days in their contract of employment.

Let’s take an employee whose normal working hours are three days per week: If the annual holiday entitlement for a full-time employee is 28 days, including Bank Holidays, the part-time employee should receive 16.8 days (28 days, divided by 5, multiplied by 3 days worked).

The part-day (0.8) may not legally be rounded down but neither does the employer have to round it up.

Public/Bank Holidays that fall on our part-time employee’s normal working day should be paid as holiday and deducted from their annual holiday entitlement of 16.8 days.

Employers should consider at the start of their holiday year which Bank Holidays will fall on the part-timer’s normal working days and the employee will need to set aside enough holidays from their annual entitlement to take these days as paid leave.

Where our part-time employee is contracted to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Friday, these are normal working days and therefore the employee will need to keep two days of their holiday entitlement for these, and and the employer should pay the days as holiday.

Where a Bank Holiday falls on a non-working day, there is no requirement for the employer to pay the part-timer nor for the employee to use holiday entitlement.

Holiday calculation is less straightforward for part-year employees i.e. those that work term-time only and is currently the subject of legal challenge. The Supreme Court will hear the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel in November this year to decide whether part-year workers should receive the same 5.6 weeks’ holiday as full-year workers or whether it should be capped at 12.07% of annualised hours, typically the practice in the education sector.

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