How much holiday should an employer give to a part-time employee?
This is one of the questions that we are asked most often!
The Working Time Regulations 1998 specify that a full-time employee is entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ or 28 days’ holiday in a holiday year. The 5.6 week or 28 day minimum can include bank holidays (there are usually 8 public holidays per year, leaving 20 days of holiday for someone who works a 5 day week).
Part-time employees are entitled to the pro rata equivalent. If a part-time employee is given less holiday entitlement than a full-time employee (in proportion to their working hours), this will be considered as less favourable treatment which can result in claims in the Employment Tribunals.
To provide an example, an employee who works 2 days a week would receive the following entitlement based on the statutory minimum:
5.6 weeks x 2 days worked per week = 11.2 days per holiday year.
Where an employer offers a greater holiday entitlement of 25 days plus bank holidays (33 days a year) to full-time employees, a part-time employee who works two days a week would receive the following entitlement:
6.6 weeks x 2 days worked per week = 13.2 days per holiday year.
Both of the above calculations include the employee’s entitlement to Bank Holidays. Bank Holidays are probably the biggest cause of confusion when it comes to calculating holiday entitlement for part-time staff.
The way most organisations deal with Bank Holidays for part-timers is to calculate the employee’s full holiday entitlement including Bank Holidays as a total figure. Then, where a Bank Holiday falls on a day when the employee would normally be required to work, they must use their holiday entitlement on that day. If the Bank Holiday falls on a day when the employee would not normally be at work, their entitlement is unaffected.
Of course, not all part-timers work full days – there are a variety of different working patterns. For example, someone might work a 19 hour week (as compared to a full-timer who works 38 hours). In that case, the holiday entitlement (including Bank Holidays) would need to be 50% of the full timer’s entitlement (including Bank Holidays).
Employers should also be careful when it comes to calculating the amount of accrued but untaken holiday pay that should be paid to a departing part-time employee. For a full-time employee the calculation can be easy. If the full-time employee is entitled to the 28 days statutory minimum, holiday accrues at a rate of 2.33 days per month worked and the pay is 1/260th of their salary (because there are 260 working days in a year (excluding weekends)). These calculations will need to be pro-rated for a part-time employee.
Do you have any queries on holiday entitlement? Please contact us on 01243 836840 or [email protected] .