Know your holiday pay

What is paid holiday?

If you work full time, part time or on a zero-hours contract you have the right to paid holiday (statutory annual leave).

How much holiday do I get?

You are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ statutory paid holiday a year – this is the legal minimum – employers can choose to offer more.
If you work 5 days a week this will be 28 days.

Part-time workers are entitled to at least 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday which will be less than 28 days. So if you work 3 days a week you should get 16.8 days leave a year (3 × 5.6). 

You can use the Government’s holiday entitlement tool to check how much holiday you should get.

What if I work different hours each week? 

Lots of people work irregular hours for the same employer which means using a single week to set holiday pay may mean they are not paid fairly for their time off.  

If this applies to you, your employer should look back at your average pay over the past 52 weeks of pay information it has for you to find your average pay in order to work out what holiday pay you should receive. It should only count weeks in which you were paid. 

 If you have been working for your employer for less than a year it should use the maximum amount of pay data it has for you. For example, if you have been with your employer for 13 weeks it should use those 13 weeks of data to work out your average pay. 

However, your employer cannot use pay data that is more than two years old. For example if you have worked for your employer for 3 years, working 20 weeks a year it can only use the  pay data from the last two years (40 weeks) to work out what your holiday pay should be. 

What does it include?

Your employer can decide that all bank holidays (usually 8 per year) are included in your annual leave allowance. This means you must take those days off and they come off your total amount of holiday days.  

If you are self-employed, you’re not usually entitled to paid holiday.  

You should still get a proportion of a full year’s holiday entitlement if your employment contract lasts for less than a year or ends part way through a holiday year.  

You still build up holiday days whilst you are on parental leave.  

How does booking holiday work?  

You have to give your employer notice of when you want to go on holiday – your contract should say how long this notice needs to be and what the process is for requesting holiday dates.  

What if I’m not getting the right amount of holiday?

If you’re not sure what your holiday entitlement is, check your employment contract, talk with your manager or someone in HR. 

If you don’t think you’re getting the right amount of holiday you can raise the issue with your employer.

You could get legal advice from Citizens Advicethey offer free confidential advice for free online, over the phone and in person.

You can also speak call ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) helpline: 0300 123 1100 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) and access this section Holiday, Sickness and Leave of their website for info more information.