One of the most important questions workers will ask when starting a new job is how much annual leave they'll get. While this can vary from company to company, UK workers are legally entitled to a minimum amount of time off, known as Statutory Holiday Allowance. But, just how much is Statutory Holiday Allowance exactly?
Most full-time workers in the UK are legally entitled to 28 days annual leave per year, or 5.6 weeks, under the Working Time Regulations. Full-time means working five days per week.
If you work part-time, ie, 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.
If you work more than five days per week, your statutory entitlement still remains at 5.6 weeks.
Gov.uk provide a good article and calculator to check your entitlement.
Many employers recognise the value of annual leave to staff, so those firms looking to attract top talent often provide more than the statutory entitlement.
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 these days. This will be stipulated in your employment contract.
Using your Annual Leave Entitlement
When you can start using your annual leave depends on each employer. Many workers are entitled to their Statutory Holiday Allowance as soon as they start a job, while others may be given access to their leave 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.
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.