Holiday entitlement UK 2022: everything you could get

8 December 2022 by Robin - 10 minutes of reading time

holiday entitlement

What is holiday entitlement? How does it work? If you work, you are likely building up holidays. Then, you could take paid time off, which is leave that you are entitled to. Your Benefits will tell you everything you need to know about holiday entitlement in the UK.

Statutory annual holiday leave entitlement

What is my entitlement to statutory annual holiday leave?

You may work a 5-hour week, and be a worker. If this is the case, you need to get a minimum of paid annual leave amounting to 5.6 weeks, or 28 days yearly.

You may be working part-time. Then, the same applies to you. Indeed, you would then be entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday. However, this amounts to less than 28 days most of the time. Indeed, you need to multiply 5.6 to the number of days that you work out of the week to find the amount.

You may work irregular hours. Indeed, if this is the case, every hour worked entitles you to paid time off. Indeed, this means that every work you do increases your holiday entitlement.

There is a maximum amount of statutory paid holiday entitlement, however. Indeed, it is 28 days. Indeed, you may work more than 5 days a week. However, then, your holiday entitlement is still fixed at 28 days. 

You may be a part time employee. You can get annual leave a year. You can find a holiday calculator online, and are legally entitled to 5.6 days a month. An employee starting work has statutory entitlement. This includes full time employees, and more, especially for public holidays. You do not need to use your email address to have your holiday entitlement calculated.

Can I take more time off?

There are certain things that workers have a right to get. Indeed, they are as follows:

  • Take their holiday and sick leave at the same time;
  • Still accrue holidays while taking time off for being sick;
  • Accumulate holiday days while on adoption, paternity or maternity leave;
  • Receive a pay when taking leave.

You may be able to take more time off. Indeed, you could take more days than the minimum. All the requirements for statutory holiday entitlement do not need to apply to you to be able to take extra time off.  As an employee, paid holiday entitlement is your right, to be provided by your employer. 

What is holiday entitlement?

If you are a worker, you you could get holiday leave. More specifically, you could get, at minimum, up to 5.6 weeks of holiday leave. In fact, this would be paid leave. Indeed, you may also know this as annual leave or statutory leave entitlement.

There are a lot of different types of workers that are entitled to this. Indeed, first, there are workers on zero-hours contracts. Second, there are workers with irregular hours. Finally, there are agency workers.

You may be an employer. If this is the case, you can use bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave. Furthermore, when it comes to Coronavirus, holiday pay and leave remain the same.

Your employer does not have an obligation to treat bank holidays as paid time off. Indeed, employers can instead choose to count bank holidays as statutory holiday leave and pay.

How to calculate holiday entitlement

You accumulate annual leave as soon as you begin working at your job. Furthermore, employees may have been furloughed because of Coronavirus. In this case, while not at work, they will have accumulated holidays as if they were.

Employees must take advantage of their holiday entitlement during their statutory leave year. Indeed, this must be told to them by their employer. Statutory leave must be taken during that period. The period is likely set out in their contract. In case the period is not specified in the contract, then it will begin:

  • If it started prior to or on 1 October 1998: on 1 October;
  • If it started after 1 October 1998: on the very first day that the job started.

You may be starting a new job. Indeed, you may even do so during your current leave year. If this is the case, you may only be entitled to some of your holiday entitlement. In fact, how much that is exactly depends on when during the year you joined, and how much is remaining. 

Note that your holiday entitlement is not impacted by adoption, paternity or maternity leave. Indeed, if you choose to take advantage of one of these schemes, you will be able to still build up holiday during this time.

Can my employer award holiday leave differently?

Your employer may use a different method to award holiday leave entitlement, like the accrual system. If this is the case, you would receive 1/12th of your holiday leave monthly.

Let’s say that you work 4 days a week. Then, you are entitled to 4 x 5.6 days of leave, or 22.4 days yearly. Then, monthly, you would be able to take out about 1.86 days of leave, or 5.6 days every 3 months.

Carrying over holiday leave

Your contract may indicate that you are able to carry over holiday leave to the next year. Indeed, if this is the case, it would also indicate how many days you can carry over. For example, those getting 28 days of holiday entitlement can carry over 8 days to the next year.

You may have more than 28 days of holiday leave. Then, you would then need to refer to the contract to see if you can carry over more than 8 days to the next year. Indeed, if this is not indicated in your contract, check the intranet or your company’s rule book.

Furthermore, employees may have their work be affected by COVID-19. Because of this, they might not have been able to take their leave. Then, they are able to carry over their leave for the next 2 years. Indeed, they are able to do as such if, for example, one of the following applies to them:

  • They are considered a ‘critical worker’ (this includes cashiers and healthcare workers);
  • There will be too few people working if workers take their leave before the leave year ends;
  • In order to cover for their fellow employees, they do not have any time in which they can take their leave before the end of their leave year.
Some workers may be on sick, parental or maternity leave. If this makes them unable to take all of their holiday entitlement, they are able to carry over their holiday leave to the next year.

Employers need to let employees take (at most) 20 days out of 28 and carry them over to the next leave year. Indeed, this is if an employee could not take their holiday leave because they were on sick leave.

Holiday pay worker entitlement

Workers are entitled to holiday pay. More specifically, for every week of holiday leave that a worker takes out, they are able to receive holiday pay for that week. Remember that your entitlement for holiday is 5.6 weeks of paid leave. This means number of days you work weekly x 5.6 = annual leave.

How your holiday pay is paid depends on how you are normally paid. Indeed, you could be a part-time, term-time, casual or full-time worker. As such, how you will be paid will be different. 

Holiday pay in the UK in 2022 for every type of work
Type of work How your weekly pay is counted
No fixed hours (this includes casual work, like zero-hours contracts) Your average pay over 52 weeks (do not count weeks where you were not paid)
Shift work which has fixed hours (this includes both part-time and full-time) The worker's average weekly fixed hours in the 52 weeks prior, and at the average hourly rate
Fixed pay and hours (this includes both part-time and full-time) The typical pay that the worker receives weekly

To calculate your hourly rate, you need to only count the hours that you worked for which you were paid. Then, take the average of those hours over a 52-week period.

What counts as a week? Typically, a week is counted from Sunday to Saturday. However, you may use another start and end day for the week. However, only do this if that is how your wage is calculated.

What if my situation differs?

You may have worked for less than 52 weeks. Then, work out your average over the total number of weeks that you worked. If there are any weeks when you did not work, you can skip them in order to calculate how you earned on average. To calculate your average, only use weeks where you were paid.

Furthermore, you may even be paid monthly. Then, to get your average hourly pay, divide your total pay for the month with the number of hours that you worked during it.

Then, you will need to find your weekly pay. To do this, take your average hourly pay, and multiply it by the number of hours that you work during the week. Then, you will have found your average hourly pay.

Note that an employer must not pay the amount owed for the paid leave in the hourly rate. This also goes by rolled-up holiday pay. Indeed, the amount needs to be paid for the period when the employee took the holiday leave. Your contract may have rolled-up pay. Then, you must get it redone.

Holiday entitlement employer notice

Holiday entitlement: how much notice do I need to give my employer?

Typically, you need to tell your employer twice the amount of your holiday leave, plus one day. You need to give this notice in advance. As an example, if you want to take 4 days of leave, you should give your employer 9 days’ notice. Indeed, this is (4 days x 2) + 1 day.

A similar rule applies to the employer. In fact the employer may choose to not accept the leave request, or chose to cancel it. Then, they need to give notice to the employee the duration of the leave that was asked, plus one day.

As an employee, you may have asked for 5 days of leave. Then, they must have done this at least 11 days in advance. Then, the employer may refuse this leave. However, they must give notice to the employee 6 days in advance at minimum.

You may have different rules about notice in your contract. Then, the rules set out in the contract overrule what is said above. Also note that employers may deny leave to an employee on a certain period. However, they cannot systematically not let employees take any leave.

Part-time workers may be able to take ‘part leave’ days. In fact, this means that they would take only half of a day off, for example. However, note that the specifics of part day leave needs to be set out by the employer.

 When employees cannot take holiday leave

Employers are able to notify their staff for when they should take leave, like during popular or bank holidays. However, employers can also tell their employees when they cannot take leave. Indeed, this may include times when the business is busy.

Check your employment contract to see if the periods when leave can and cannot be taken are set out. Furthermore, employers cannot force employees to take leave if they will not be able to enjoy leisure, rest and relax. As an example, if an employee is sick, the employer cannot force them to take their holiday leave.

Can I take holidays prior to leaving my job?

You may have given notice to your employer that you want to stop working at your current job. Then, you could be able to use your remaining holiday entitlement during your notice period. 

An employee may have taken more leave than they are entitled to. In this case, if their employer would like to deduct the appropriate amount from their final pay, this needs to be outlined in writing form. 

Normally, an employer cannot pay an employee to avoid them taking their leave. However, this may happen if the employee is leaving their job. This is also called ‘payment in lieu’.

The employer needs to pay for any leave that the leaving employee did not take. Indeed, this is regardless of whether the employee was dissmissed or not.

An employer might offer their employees with more than 5.6 weeks of paid leave. Then, a different agreement can be agreed upon. Furhtermroe, a worker may be on a zero hour contract. Then, after not having worked for 4 weeks, the situation can be treated as if the end of the employment came to.

Robin is a writer for Your Benefits, writing about aids that people may be entitled to. He is currently working on his Master in journalism at the Institut Supérieur de Formation au Journalisme in Lille.

Ask our experts a question

Our algorithm calculates which grants you are eligible to apply for.

Simulate your benefits