One of the advantages of being an employee is that you are entitled to statutory holidays away from your job. That means that almost all employees are entitled to a set minimum period of time off each year, although some employers offer more than this figure as a perk or benefit of the job. But how do you know how many holidays and therefore holiday pay you are entitled to?
Most workers can take 5.6 weeks paid holiday each year – this is known as either annual leave or statutory leave entitlement. However, employers can include Bank Holidays and so automatic day off such as Christmas Day and Good Friday will be included without the ability to move these dates. This isn’t a requirement so whether they do this or not is at the employer’s discretion.
This figure is based on someone working a 5-day week which is classed as a full-time job. When you work part-time, the number of holidays you receive is based on the number of hours that you work. If you work 50% of a full-time role, you will receive 50% of the holidays.
While this might not sound fair, it works out the same as you only need half the days off to have the same leave period as someone working full time. For instance, someone working five days would need five days holiday for a week’s break but someone working three days a week would only need three.
Irregular hours and exceptions
If you work irregular hours, such as nightshift work or term-time work, then you need to have your holidays calculated on the number of hours that you work. There is a tool on the government website that lets you work out your entitlement for a full year or part of a year if you are starting your employment mid-way through a holiday cycle.
There are exceptions to the holiday period rule. The first one is anyone who is self-employed as they don’t have an employer to make the payments. The other exception is anyone in the armed forces, police or civil protection services such as the fire brigade. Holidays are still given under contract but can be different to normal statutory holidays.
How much holiday pay should you get?
The other important question about holidays concerns how much you should be paid while you are on holiday. When you are taking your statutory holidays, you should be paid the same amount as you are when you are at work. So, if your weekly wage is £300, then you should be paid £300 for the week you are on holiday.
Should you get a commission payment on top of your normal basic pay, you will also receive this when you are on holiday. If your normal commission is £100 a week, then you should still get £100 a week when on holiday.
If you get a variable payment packet due to irregular hours, then your employer should take an average from your wage over the last 12 weeks and pay you this amount for the week that you are on holidays.