How many holidays do employees get?

11th December 2013

I don’t know how many times I've been asked this question but lets just say "Quite a few" and for the life of me, I can't see why there's so much confusion or fuss other than the obvious one:

Some company owners and senior managers often seem to be unsure about what the rules are, whether its paid holidays, staff facilities or absenteeism – but to be fair, most employers that call just want to get the facts and to make sure they are doing the right thing. So, when the question is about statutory holiday entitlement, my short answer is simple: 28 days, there, now you have it.

But. It's not always 28 days. For instance as an employer you can choose whether or not to include the so-called Bank Holidays as part of the entitlement, plus there's also the question of part-time employees and these days, there seem to be more and more self-employed workers, however, that’s an easy one, they're not entitled to any paid holidays, ouch!

If in doubt, there is an easy way to work out how many days an individual is entitled to, just multiply the number of days the person works per week by 5.6. If they work a typical 5 day week, times 5 x 5.6 = 28 at least that’s how I do it. The same principle also works for part-time employees, for instance, if you have someone working 3 days a week, they should get 3 x 5.6 = 16.8 days of annual paid leave. Simple!

It's entirely up to the employer whether or not they include public holidays or if they allow staff to accrue entitlement and forward it into the following year.

Some employers add days for staff who have worked for them over a long period or because they have become more senior within the company. It's worth knowing that there are limits to the statutory figure of 28 days, for instance if you have staff who regularly work six days a week, you still calculate their entitlement by 5 x 5.6 = 28, not 6 x 5.6 = 33.6

One thing I know for sure is that holidays are important, for everyone, even those of us who stay home and decorate!

That’s why our online holiday planner is such a great idea. It gives employees the ability to make holiday requests and check on their current status to confirm exactly how many days they have taken and how many are still available. It's a real advantage and a big time saver for you, the employer.