One of the most precious things to an employee (after job security and satisfaction of course) is holiday, it can also be one of the most headache inducing elements of employing people  especially when you have part-time employees! Are you working out your part time holiday entitlements correctly?

As January is the start of the holiday year for lots of business it’s important that you are getting part-time holiday right!

All employees are entitled to a statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks’ leave including the 8 normal Bank or Public Holidays in England. This is worked out by multiplying the number of days of the week worked by 5.6; for a full-time employee this is 5 days x 5.6 weeks = 28 days.

In old money this may have been written as 4 weeks holiday plus Bank Holidays, and for full-time staff that actually works out the same as above.

However, this doesn’t work for part-time holiday calculations where there is the same right to 5.6 weeks’ leave.  By giving part -time employees 4 weeks leave and only the Bank Holidays that fall on their working days you are in danger of not legally giving them enough time off, or of giving them to much leave depending on what their working patterns are and when the Bank Holidays fall.

For a part-time employee that works the same hours every week it is easy to work out by using the calculation of days a week worked x 5.6 weeks

1 day a week x 5.6 weeks = 5.6 days leave a year

2 days a week x 5.6 weeks = 11.2 days leave a year

3 days a week x 5.6 weeks = 16.8 days leave a year

4 days a week x 5.6 weeks = 22.4 days leave a year

It even works for half days!  2.5 days a week x 5.6 weeks = 14 days leave a year

As “point somethings” of a day are not easy to equate to time that can be taken off work it’s quite common to round up to the nearest half-day, but it’s unlawful to round down leave.

If your business offers enhanced annual leave, say 25 days holiday plus Bank Holidays, so 33 days in total, the way to calculate part-time holiday is full time allowance / 5 (days for full time week) x number of days a week worked. For someone working 3 days a week their yearly entitlement is in this case 19.8 days including Bank Holidays.

So what happens when shut up shop on a Bank Holiday? You deduct any Bank Holidays that fall on an employee’s usual working day out of their total part-time holiday entitlement and pay them for a day’s holiday.

For example in 2021 a part time employee who works Monday, Tuesday and Thursday would be entitled to 17 days ‘ holiday in total of which 6 will be allocated to the usual Bank Holidays, Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank Holiday, August Bank Holiday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day leaving them 11 days available to book

Another employee who also works 3 days a week at the same company but who works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday would also have a total part-time holiday entitlement of 17 days but would only need to allocate 1 day to the Boxing Day Bank holiday leaving them with 16 available days to book.

This might seem completely unfair and as if one employee is receiving far more holiday but as they don’t work on the days the most Bank Holidays fall they don’t get paid for them anyway and each employee is receiving the exact same amount of part time holiday.  Just one employee has more days dictated to them & the other has more freedom about when they take their holiday.  This situation will be different in 2022 when the “moveable” Bank Holidays are on different days of the week!

If employees work on Bank Holidays those days should not be deducted from their holiday entitlement and the holidy can be booked and taken at another time in the year. This point actually applies to full or part time employees to ensure the 5.6 weeks legal entitlement is always offered.

Just to add to the mix, if you have part-time employees that work different hours on different days of the week; rather than working their leave out in days it should be done in hours.  We don’t even know how to explain that in way that is easy to follow for the amount of different variations in working patterns this might cover (!!) so if you have any employees with irregular working patterns it might be best to give us call if you are unsure how to work out their part-time holiday entitlement.

Anyone for a headache tablet and glass of water yet?!

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