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Employment Law – Annual Leave Entitlement

Author: Joan Finch, J Finch & Associates Published: 15th August 2014 13:48

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Employment Law is constantly changing and evolving, especially with companies looking at more efficient ways of working.  In particular, they are looking at how they engage their work-force, on what pay and which terms and benefits to offer. One area which seems to be drawing some attention this year is Annual Leave Entitlement.  Therefore, in this article, we are going to take the opportunity to look at Annual Leave.

What is the statutory holiday entitlement?

Everyone accrues annual leave from their first day of employment.  The statutory entitlement is 28 days, inclusive of bank holidays, came into force when holiday entitlement changed back in April 2009.

Who is entitled to annual leave?

Under the Working Time Regulation, all employees are entitled to annual leave.  In addition workers are also entitled to annual leave.  A definition of a worker is where an individual undertakes to perform personally any work or services for another party; for example Zero hours, casual, seasonal workers or agency temps.

How is holiday calculated?

Full time employees are entitled to 28 days, which is the equivalent of the 5.6 weeks.  For part time employees this is calculated on a pro rata basis, which would reflect the number of hours they have work.

Again, workers holiday entitlement is based on the number of hours worked over the 12 week period leading up to the period of annual leave, to give an average weekly earnings.  If a worker is sick one week you would go back a further week.

Why is holiday entitlement drawing attention?

On 22nd May 2014 Unison won a landmark case, whereby the outcome of the case is the European Court of Justice ruled that workers must receive normal numeration when they are on annual leave, even when their pay is formed of basic pay and commission.

Currently the Working Time Directive states that holiday pay can be based on contracted hours.  As a result, if an employee who is contracted for 10hrs per week works above this and an employer does not take overtime into consideration when calculating holiday, the employee is in effect at a loss when they take annual leave. 

However, should you be on a Zero hours contract when taking holiday, as holiday is calculated on the hours worked over a period of time, the Zero hours worker is not at a loss when it comes to holiday entitlement, albeit you might argue they are at a loss in other ways.

If you employ staff, it is important that you have all the necessary contracts and policies in place to support and maintain the employment relationship.  It is equally important to have the policies in place to support your business growth or when things are not going quite as they should. 

If you are in the process of dealing with disputes in the workplace or are concerned that your business does not have all the necessary contracts of employment and policies in place; or wish to ensure that your company is fully compliant and up to date when dealing with Employee disputes and all other employment matters, then please refer to our website and access services available to support your business. 

Article by Joan Finch of J Finch & Associates Ltd

Thanks to Joan our AboutMyArea/EN9 editorial contributor for this informative article. Check out Employment Law section in the Business Zone to read more of her articles.

Joan is an award winning, highly experienced, commercial, self-motivated HR professional who has operated within the sectors of Retail, Hospitality and Catering, specialising in Employees Relations. Joan is now the proud owner and creator of J Finch & Associates Ltd.  Joan's career spans over 10 years, and has broad experience within Human Resources, with initially being a HR generalist covering all aspect of HR from Recruitment, learning and development, training, Employee Relations, redundancy, restructures and TUPE. Since 2008 she has specialised in Employee Relations applying a commercial and practical approach to all ER related issues.

For more information on Human Resources, Employee Relationship and Employment Law issues you may like to take a look at J Finch & Associates website: http://www.jfinch.co.uk/ or call 0330 2230158.

When contacting J Finch & Associates please let them know you found their details on AboutMyArea website!


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