How to work out bank holiday leave entitlement in your practice

HR Helpline always gets busy in January with Practice Managers asking for help working out their part-time employees’ annual leave and bank holiday entitlement, so we thought we’d try to help.

Almost all workers, even those that are part-time, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid annual leave; this is known as statutory annual leave entitlement. An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory leave, or they can be additional.

Q. What is the annual leave entitlement for part-time staff, for example, an employee who works 20 hrs/wk? Do we have to calculate pro rota?

A. Yes, part-timers are entitled to annual leave pro rata. Hourly calculations are typically used to determine what the holiday entitlement is for employees working set hours. First you need to consider what the entitlement is for a full time employee:

  • A full time employee who works a 5 day week is entitled to a minimum of 28 days of annual leave, 5 working days X 5.6 = 28 days holiday entitlement.  
  • Then you need to take the hours a person has worked, in this case 20 hours and multiply it by 5.6 weeks, this will give you the number of hours the person has accrued as their annual leave entitlement. 20 hours X 5.6 = 112 hours.

The employee will receive 112 hours of annual leave entitlement per year.

Gov.UK have a holiday entitlement calculator which is a useful tool that you can use to calculate annual leave for part-time workers, available here. 

Q. We are going to employ someone who will work 8.30am - 5.00 pm each day, but on Tuesday he will work only 8.30am - midday (total weekly hours = 37½). The holiday entitlement for full time staff is 25 days + 8 bank holidays. How should we calculate holiday, and what would happen if they take a Tuesday off, would that be a whole day or half a day?

A. Work out total annual leave entitlement (including public holidays) in hours, in this case it would be 33 days x 7½ hours = 247.5 hours. If this employee takes holiday on a Monday, then 7½ hours would be subtracted from their remaining holiday allowance, if they take a Tuesday, 3½ hours would be subtracted. Likewise for bank and public holidays - when one falls on a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday 7½ hrs would be subtracted from their remaining holiday allowance (assuming they are not required to work on bank holidays); if the bank/public holiday falls on a Tuesday, 3½ hours would be subtracted.

Q. How should we calculate bank holiday entitlement for our part-timers?

A. There's nothing specific in legislation about how bank and public holiday entitlements for part-timers should be calculated, so it's left up to employers to decide what to offer, which does lead to a lot of confusion as many people do it so differently. However, legislation does state that part-timers must be treated no less favourably than their full-time equivalents, so a fair scheme is necessary.

If you offer full-time employees bank holiday leave in addition to their holiday entitlement you must offer this to your part-time employees pro-rated. Below is an example of how you would calculate this. 

A full time employee is entitled to 8 bank holidays a year in addition to their normal annual leave entitlement. If they work a 5 day week X 37.5 hours they would be entitled to 60 hours of leave on bank holidays (8 bank holiday days X 7.5 hours a day = 60). 

Part-time employees who work a 20 hour week would be entitled to a pro-rated bank holiday allowance, 20 hours / 37.5 hours X 60 = 32 hours. 

Before introducing any new scheme, consult with staff, and reach agreement on any changes that would be necessary to their contracts of employment, and confirm these in writing. Please note that the above guidance is of a general nature. It is important that practices ensure policy guidelines and contractual obligations are followed.

In addition to the above, FPM members can also submit specific questions about employment issues by using the button in FPM Core where our HR Specialist will help you with your query.

Created by Ciara Burns
Ciara Burns
Ciara is the HR Consultant at FPM Group who writes and produces content on a wide range of topics such as HR best practices, employment law, recruitment, policies, and procedures.


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