Q&As

When it comes to the holiday entitlement of an employee who starts their employment part-way through the holiday year, do public holidays accrue in the same way as other holiday entitlement, or should they be pro-rated?

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Published on LexisPSL on 15/09/2020

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • When it comes to the holiday entitlement of an employee who starts their employment part-way through the holiday year, do public holidays accrue in the same way as other holiday entitlement, or should they be pro-rated?
  • Statutory minimum holiday entitlement
  • Statutory holiday entitlement during the first year of employment
  • Contractual holiday
  • Public holidays

Provisions relating to an employee’s holiday entitlement, including entitlement to paid holiday for public holidays, and how holiday entitlement accrues, will usually be included the contract of employment (see for example, Precedent: Employment contract basic version (clause 7), and the accompanying drafting notes).

The Working Time Regulations, SI 1998/1833 (WTR 1998) provide for a statutory minimum number of annual days’ paid holiday, and set out a formula for calculating the rate at which such holiday accrues during the first year of employment, should the employee’s contract not make provision for more favourable accrual arrangements.

It will be relevant to determine when the employee’s leave year begins. Where the contract doesn’t stipulate this, WTR 1998, SI 1998/1833 provide that, in relation to statutory holiday entitlement, the leave year begins on the date on which the employee’s employment started (in the case of those first employed after 1 October 1998).

Statutory minimum holiday entitlement

WTR 1998, SI 1998/1833 which implement Directive 2003/88/EC, the Working Time Directive (WTD), give workers a statutory entitlement to paid holiday.

The right under WTR 1998, SI 1998/1833 is to a total of 5.6 weeks' annual leave each 'leave year', made up of:

  1. a basic entitlement to a minimum of four weeks' annual leave (20 days for a regular full-time worker) each leave year, implementing the right to annual leave under Directive 2003/88/EC, WTD (WTR 1998, SI

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