Summer is finally here, schools are finishing and everyone is thinking about holidays but how much do you know about employee holiday entitlement. The starting point for any employee will be to look at their contract of employment (or written statement) which by law must outline holiday entitlement, holiday pay and often contains that company/business’s other terms regarding holidays.
As it stands employees who are in full-time work (i.e. 5 days a week) are entitled to 5.6 weeks paid annual leave a year which equates to 28 days. This is known as the minimum statutory entitlement although more (but not less) can be agreed as part of any contract of employment. (continues below)
Part-time employees are entitled to the same amount of holidays as full-time employees and this is calculated on a pro-rota basis. Unless your contract states otherwise this entitlement will include all Bank Holidays of which there are currently 8. Employees do not have the right to take all Bank Holidays off (as many believe) and their employer can insist that they work on these days.
Employers can also insist that employees take off at certain times (provided the correct notice is given) for example if the office closes over Christmas. There is some good news for employees as you begin to accrue holidays as soon as you start working and if you begin part way through the employer’s holiday year your holidays will be determined on a pro-rota basis.
When requesting to take your holiday there is a general rule that employees must give sufficient notice i.e. at least twice as many days’ notice as the length of the holiday they intend to take. Employers do have the right to refuse requested holiday dates but cannot refuse your right to take your statutory holiday entitlement outright.
At the end of employment (even if you are dismissed) your employer must pay any untaken holiday (calculated on a pro-rota basis if required) but have the right to recover monies from an employee who has taken more than their holiday entitlement at the time that their employment ends.
There can often be disputes surrounding holiday entitlement and pay especially when leaving a company and we would advise that at the first instance the contract of employment (or written statement) should be reviewed and considered.
Thereafter if the matter cannot be resolved informally a grievance should be brought with the company. Failing that action could be brought against an employer in the Employment Tribunal (and initially through ACAS).
At Carr & Co Solicitors we offer advice and assistance to clients regarding employment issues including holiday entitlement and holiday pay which can be dealt with by way of an initial £100 fixed fee appointment. Hopefully this article has increased your awareness and knowledge of your holiday entitlement and has given you peace of mind to enjoy the summer and any holidays you have planned!