Workers are entitled to a statutory minimum amount of paid annual leave in each leave year of 5.6 weeks or pro-rata (maximum 28 days). 

A week’s paid leave means the paid time a worker would work in a working week, so for example if a worker works five days a week, a week’s paid leave means five days’ leave and if a worker works two days a week a week’s paid leave means two days’ paid leave.

The entitlement to paid annual leave is from the first day that a worker is employed. However, during the first year of employment, a worker may only take one-twelfth of the annual entitlement in each month, rounded to the nearest full day.

A worker is to be paid for their leave according to sections 221-224 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, which determine the amount of a week’s pay for the purposes of that Act.

A normal week’s pay is:

  • in the case of a worker with regular working hours, what they would earn for a normal working week;
  • in the case of a worker whose normal working hours vary from week to week, the average hourly rate of pay they get multiplied by an average of their normal weekly working hours over the previous 52 weeks (the holiday pay reference period);
  • in the case of a worker with no normal working hours it is the average pay received over the previous 52 weeks (the holiday pay reference period);
  • A worker’s normal working hours are said to be the normal hours fixed by their contract of employment.

The Employment Rights (Employment Particulars and Paid Annual Leave) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 changed the holiday pay reference period from 12 weeks to 52 weeks with effect from 6 April 2020. Where a worker has been employed by their employer for less than 52 weeks, the holiday pay reference period is the number of weeks for which the worker has been employed.

A worker who falls sick during their previously booked holiday and is absent due to sickness as opposed to their holiday can take their leave at a different time when they are well.

A worker who is absent with long term sickness still has the right to take their accrued holidays.

Related Topics

Working Time Regulations

Absence From Work

Employment Lawyers

Bishopsgate Law

Bishopsgate Law employment lawyers provide independent legal advice about employment settlement agreements, and represent employees and employers at employment tribunals.

Bishopsgate Law