Home Employees & HREmployee Relations Employment Law and Holidays: Employee Rights

Employment Law and Holidays: Employee Rights

written by Business Beetle

The Working Time Regulations give all workers the right to paid holidays, irrespective of the hours they work. However, the definition of worker is wider than ‘employees’ and may in fact cover more people than you think.

Casual, part-time and even agency workers are included in this description, including people you may label self-employed. For example if they perform work personally and the relationship isn’t a client/customer one (i.e. if they are not genuinely self-employed).

In the UK, all workers have, from the first day of employment, the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year. You can work out how many days off you should get by multiplying the number of days you work each week by 5.6.

Employers are allowed to include the eight UK bank holidays within your statutory holiday entitlement.

Leave can only be taken in the leave year in which it is due, unless sickness absence (or perhaps maternity leave) prevents this. Leave may not normally be replaced by a payment in lieu – except on termination of employment.

An employer will usually require a worker to give notice of intention to take annual leave and the dates proposed. The employer may require this notice to be given at least twice as many days in advance of the start of the leave as the number of days’ leave requested. The employer may also require the worker (giving due notice):

  • To take leave to which they are entitled on particular days (for example, during a ‘Christmas shutdown’); or
  • Not to take leave on particular days (for example, during the school term).

Where refusing to grant leave, your employer must inform you that your request has not been granted at least as many days in advance of your requested leave start date as the number of days leave you are requesting (e.g. if you are asking to take a two-week holiday, your employer must say no at least two weeks before).

Other Aspects of Holiday Entitlement

Workers have the right to:

  • Get paid for leave
  • Build up (‘accrue’) holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity and adoption leave
  • Build up holiday entitlement while off work sick
  • Request holiday at the same time as sick leave
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