Public holidays in the UK and UK bank holidays tend to be the same each year. This year there are no additional public holidays unlike 2012 with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
|New Year’s Day||Tuesday 1 January|
|Good Friday||Friday 29 March|
|Easter Monday||Monday 1 April|
|Early May Bank Holiday||Monday 6 May|
|Spring Bank Holiday||Monday 27 May|
|Summer Bank Holiday||Monday 26 August|
|Christmas Day||Wednesday 25 December|
|Boxing Day||Thursday 26 December|
Holidays for staff in the UK: the rules
As from 1 April 2009, full-time workers in the UK are entitled to a statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks’ holiday in a leave year. For someone on a five-day week, that’s 28 days paid holiday annually. Those 28 days can include bank holidays. For part-time workers, holiday is calculated on a pro-rata basis. Of course, an employer can offer more than 28 days.
For UK statutory purposes, paid holiday is capped at 28 days: even if someone works a six-day week, they are entitled to no more than 28 days of paid leave. Employees are entitled to holiday leave from the first day of their employment.
Paid holiday entitlements need to be included in workers’ contracts of employment.
UK Holiday pay
For every week of holiday they take, employees must be paid a week’s earnings. This is worked out according to the sort of work they do: fixed hours and pay; variable hours and pay; and shift work, for example. UK employees are entitled to their holiday pay at the time they actually take their holiday.
Workers have to take a minimum of four weeks’ leave annually. If there is any unused statutory holiday left over, provided both the employer and employee agree, it can be carried into to the next leave year but no further than that.
Calculating UK leave entitlements
For full-time employees, this is quite straightforward: five days a week equals 28 days a year holiday. For part-time workers, it is worked out on a pro-rata basis: if someone works two days a week, then their holiday entitlement is 5.6 x 2 or 11.2 days.
In the case of shift workers, it is simpler to make the calculation based on the number of shifts. If a worker puts in three 10-hour shifts a week, their holiday entitlement is the equivalent to 5.6 x 3 = 16.8 10-hour shifts.
For employees who work annualised hours, the calculation begins with the average number of hours worked over the year. Divide that figure by 46.4 weeks (52 minus 5.6) to arrive at an hour per week number. Multiply that by 5.6 to give the total hours to which they are entitled ass holiday leave.
UK Maternity, paternity adoption and parental leave
UK staff on statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave can accumulate paid holiday leave.
Those on maternity and adoption leave can accrue UK holiday entitlements during ordinary and additional leave, although paid holiday leave can’t be taken simultaneously with maternity leave. So if an employee knows that maternity leave is looming, the employer may want to discuss whether the employee would like to take their holiday before the start of the maternity period or at the end.
Employees who are on statutory paternity or parental leave can also accrue holiday entitlements while they are away.
UK employees who are off work sick can still accumulate holiday leave entitlements.
Should a worker fall ill just before embarking on some annual paid leave, or while on holiday itself, the employer is not obliged to turn holiday leave into sick leave. But progressive employers may allow staff who fall genuinely ill the chance to claim their holiday leave back for use at some other time in the leave year.
UK Public holidays
Employers don’t have to give employees paid time off for public and bank holidays, but their terms and conditions should include whether they have the right to paid leave on public holidays and if their rate of pay for working a public holiday is higher than their normal rate. Most office based roles do give the time off however.