What are your employee’s holiday rights?

Whether you have employees that have just started with your company, are part-time or just about to go on maternity leave, holiday rights and entitlements can get complicated. Make sure you know enough about the holiday entitlements of your employees to protect your business.

Take a look at our fact file of what you need to know, and make sure to contact us if you have any further queries or issues!

Make sure you have an annual leave policy

All employees and workers* are entitled to paid leave, so make sure you include entitlements, HR procedures and processes within contracts, inductions and your staff handbook where relevant. Regularly reinforcing your processes makes sure that everyone, employees and managers, are aware of holiday rights.

Holiday rights are usually discussed as the employee starts work, and sometimes at the recruitment and interview stage. The entitlement should then be confirmed with the formal job offer or contract.

By law, there must be a form of written statement regarding holiday and annual leave that must be given to employees by the employer no later than two months after the employee begins work.

What are employees entitled to?

Most employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year, with part-time employees entitled to the same amount of holiday (pro rota) as full time colleagues. There is no legal right to paid public or bank holidays.

If employment ends, employees have the right to be paid for any leave due but not taken.

If you have an employee on or approaching maternity leave, they are entitled to take their annual leave before or after their maternity leave period. Annual leave is also accrued during maternity leave.

What are employers entitled to?

Employees must give notice when they want to take leave (the default tends to be double the amount of leave taken – ie two weeks notice for one weeks holiday but this can be set and agreed in your own HR processes)

Employers are able to set times when employees must take leave, for example a Christmas shut down in a factory, or nominated days where the place of work must be closed.

You can also give a maximum amount of holiday that can be taken on one occasion, limiting holidays to two weeks for example.

Remember to plan ahead

When setting your HR processes, planning ahead wherever possible avoids unnecessary disruption. Setting minimum notice periods for leave, the maximum amount of time that can be taken, and so on allows you to fit your employee’s leave around the businesses and reduces any negative impact. You also have time to ensure that your business is adequately staffed, as you can monitor which employees may wish to book leave at the same time to eliminate any unhelpful clashes.

Do you need to know more about annual leave for your employees? Contact us today for further advice.

* Legally, employees and workers are different, however both are entitled to annual leave. To find out more about the difference and how it applies to your company, contact us today. In the above fact file we refer to employees, as they are most common.


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