Sitting in front of a potential new client this week, I was reminded how sometimes…
The current statutory holiday entitlement of 24 days (4.8 weeks) for a full time worker meaning generally a five-day week is increasing. From 1 April 2009, such workers are entitled to 28 days (5.6 weeks). This is a minimum entitlement, so you can choose to offer more.
For part-time workers, holiday entitlement is worked out on a pro-rata basis. The following examples will demonstrate some typical situations:
- Avril works three days a week so she is currently entitled to 14.4 days (4.8 weeks x 3) and will be entitled to 16.8 days (5.6 x 3)
- Andrew works four 12 hour shifts followed by four days off. This equates to 3.5 12 hour shifts on average (based on a standard 17 week cycle) so his current entitlement is 16.8 12 hour shifts (4.8 x 3.5) and this will rise to 19.6 12 hour shifts (5.6 x 3.5)
- Julie works part time during term time only. She works on average 850 hours over the whole year. This equates to 18 hours per week over the current 47.2 working weeks of the year so currently she would be entitled to 18 x 4.8 weeks = 86.4 hours holiday per year rising to 100.8 hours (18 x 5.6)
Any days off for public or bank holidays can be counted towards a worker’s statutory holiday entitlement as long as it is paid leave.
Payment in lieu of the additional holiday
You are currently allowed to pay workers in lieu of them taking their full statutory holiday entitlement. However, workers must take a minimum of four weeks’ holiday in each leave year.
From 1 April 2009, payment in lieu of statutory holiday entitlement will not be permitted. The carry forward of statutory holiday entitlement to the next annual leave period is also prohibited. Payment in lieu of any leave above the statutory entitlement or the facility to carry the excess forward is still allowed depending on the employment contract.
Calculating the increased holiday entitlement for different leave years
As workers are entitled to an extra 0.8 week’s holiday from 1 April 2009, if their next or current leave year begins before 1 April 2009, you will have to recalculate your workers’ statutory holiday entitlement based on the number of months in the leave year falling after 1 April 2009.
For example, if their leave year runs from 1 January to 31 December 2009, your staff are entitled to nine months worth of the additional entitlement – an extra 0.6 weeks:
(0.8 ÷ 12) x 9 = 0.6
Informing your staff of the changes
As the increase in holiday is a beneficial change in the terms and conditions of employment for the worker, there is no need to reissue contracts. However, you do need to let staff know about the increased entitlement in writing, eg through a staff letter.
The government website www.businesslink.gov.uk includes a template letter, example staff notice and model paragraph for an employment contract that can be edited and used to inform workers. It also includes a helpful calculator for those tricky situations!