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Your top 5 holiday questions answered

We are often asked questions relating to holidays and holiday pay, so I thought I would answer a few of the regular ones:

1. How much paid holiday must I give my employees?

Full time employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ or 28 days per annum. Bank holidays can be included in this total. You need to add this to the contracts of employment;

“you are entitled to 28 days per annum including bank holidays”.

2. Are casual workers entitled to holidays?

Yes. If they work on a casual basis or irregular hours, it is often easiest to calculate holiday entitled that accrues as hours are worked.

The holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equivalent to 12.07 per cent of hours worked over a year. The 12.07 per cent figure is 5.6 weeks’ holiday, divided by 46.4 weeks (being 52 weeks – 5.6 weeks). The 5.6 weeks are excluded from the calculation as the employee would not be at work during those 5.6 weeks in order to accrue annual leave.

So if someone works 20 hours they are entitled to 144.8 minutes paid holiday (12.07/100x20 = 2.41 hours = 144.8).

3. Can I ask employees to keep holidays for the Christmas/New Year period?

You can require an employee to take all or part of their leave at specific times, provided that you have given them prior notice. You can add such a stipulation to their contracts.

4. I have a member of staff on long term sick do I have to pay them for holiday?

Yes. As long as a contract exists between the employer and the employee, the statutory minimum entitlement to paid holiday will continue to accrue during periods of sickness absence. I recommend if you have a member of staff on long term sick that you seek HR advice to help you deal with this. Don’t ignore the employee on long term sick as you may find yourself having to pay a large amount of holiday pay.

5. Do employees accrue holiday when they are on maternity leave?

Yes. While on maternity leave, employees continue to build up their holiday entitlements just as they would if they were absent due to illness. If they can’t take all the leave they’re entitled to during a particular year, they can carry it over to the following year. Many employers allow employees to add all of their annual leave on to the beginning or end of the maternity period. Any arrangements should be agreed following discussion between the employer and the pregnant employee and put in writing. - 07946 541606

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