Holiday pay entitlement varies from business to business, depending on the contracts of employment that you draw up. However, employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid holiday; this is pro rata for new or part time staff. For most people, this equates to 28 paid days off per year. It’s up to the employer whether or not they award more than that, but maternity, paternity, parental and sick leave are all considered separately, and cannot be taken as holidays.

When it comes to holiday pay, those 28 days should be given at the same rate of pay as any other day. As a result, employees should be taking home the same amount of pay every month. Employment law protects the basic rights of the employee to 28 days paid holiday; however, most of the more complex holiday pay issues depend entirely on the contract of employment.

What to put in your employment contracts:

  • Stipulate any times when holiday is not permitted, e.g. particularly busy periods
  • Stipulate any times when holiday is mandatory, e.g. public holidays, shutdown periods
  • Say whether bank/public holidays (including special bank holidays such as the royal wedding and Diamond Jubilee) are included in the minimum 28 days holiday
  • Specify the maximum number of days off an employee can take in one go
  • Ask for a minimum amount of notice before holiday can be taken
  • State whether or not taking unpaid holiday leave is permitted
  • Specify whether unused holiday can be carried over to the next year
  • Remind employees that you reserve the right to refuse holidays
  • Say whether or not the rate of pay is higher for employees who are required to work on a bank holiday. Remember, if you do not give staff paid leave on a bank or public holiday, they are entitled to take an additional day off when they please to make up the 28 day minimum.

Peninsula clients can use the exclusive hronline package to manage employee holiday and absence. They can also be provided with bespoke employment documentation, or take advantage of our 24 hour legal advice for problems or queries concerning holiday pay entitlement.