One of the most important questions you want to know when starting a new job is how much annual leave you'll get. While this does vary from company to company, UK workers are legally entitled to a minimum amount of time off, known as Statutory Holiday Allowance.
So, just how much is Statutory Holiday Allowance exactly?
Note: if you want to just calculate it using your employment start date then head straight to our Statutory Holiday Calculator.
Statutory holiday entitlement for full time workers
Full-time workers in the UK (those that work a five day week) the legal minimum is 28 days statutory annual leave entitlement per year, or 5.6 weeks, under the Working Time Regulations.
Statutory holiday entitlement for part-time workers
For part time employees, that is, anyone working less than five days per week, your annual leave entitlement is worked out on a proportionate, pro-rata basis. You simply multiply the number of days you work per week by 5.6. For instance, someone who works three days per week is entitled to 16.8 days annual leave, while a four-day week worker gets 22.4 days off. Where annual leave figures aren't nice and precise, they get rounded up, but never rounded down.
What if I work more than 5 days per week?
If you work more than five days per week, your statutory entitlement still remains at 5.6 weeks.
Most decent employers recognise the value of holidays, time off and annual leave to their teams health and wellbeing, so those firms looking to attract the best people will offer more than the statutory entitlement of 5.6 weeks holiday pay. In this case it'll be specifically covered in your offer letter, company handbook or contract of employment.
What about Bank Holidays?
An employer has the right to include bank holidays within the Statutory Holiday Allowance. You may be forced to take bank holidays off as annual leave, or may be required to work on bank holidays. This will be stipulated in your employment contract.
Using your statutory holiday allowance
When you can start using your holiday allowance depends on your employer. Most of us are entitled to their Statutory Holiday Allowance as soon as they start a job, while others may be given access to annual holiday entitlement spread out across the first year.
New annual leave entitlement often begins on the anniversary of your start date, but in other cases, it could commence from a new calendar year. Again, this will be detailed in an employment contract.
If you start a job after the statutory entitlement year has begun, your allowance will be calculated on a pro-rata basis. If you're not sure how many days of leave you're entitled to, based on when you started your job, a holiday allowance calculator is a really handy tool to put you in the picture https://timetastic.co.uk/holiday-calculator/.
Legally, workers are obliged to take their annual leave within a given year, but if this can't be taken, due to sickness or maternity, it can be carried forward to the next year. You can't carry over more than 20 days, however, and the leave must be taken within 18 months. However, some employers have their own rules regarding carrying annual leave over.
Mostly, you can decide when you take your Statutory Annual Allowance, but some employers may set certain rules. An example of this would be still;ulating that you have to take all Bank Holidays off.
Do you get paid during statutory holiday leave?
Statutory Holiday Allowance is paid, so that you get the same wage on your days off. In some cases, if you have to work on a bank holiday, you may get paid more, but this is normally agreed in your contract beforehand. If you get paid commission, this is also normally included in your annual leave allowance. Workers whose income varies each week will be paid a mean average amount earned over the previous 12 weeks.
Employees can't receive payment in lieu of taking their Statutory Holiday Allowance, unless this falls within a notice period of employment.
If you're self-employed, work for the police, civil protection services or the armed forces, you're not entitled to statutory paid holiday.
Calculating your holiday allowance
It's not too difficult but the pro-rata side of things if you start part way through your employers holiday year can be tricky. Fear not though, we've published a simple form here to calculate holiday entitlement.
And if you want to get further into the details then both ACAS and Gov.uk have solid guidance.