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Easter Bank Holidays and Part Time Workers

Most businesses employ part time workers but some find calculating part time holiday entitlement difficult, especially when it comes to bank holidays.  As Easter approaches and many employees look forward to a long weekend, we decided to bring you some key advice on calculating holiday entitlement for your part time workers.

All workers are entitled to receive 5.6 weeks paid holidays (the equivalent of 28 days for someone who works 5 or more days each week) under the Working Time Regulations 1998.  That entitlement can be inclusive of bank holidays and holiday entitlement is something that should be specifically included in your contracts of employment.  To ensure part time workers are not treated any less favourably than their full time counterparts, they are entitled to a pro-rata equivalent of a full time workers entitlement.  That includes a pro-rata equivalent of bank holidays, even where a particular bank holiday is not one of their normal working days.

So, how do you calculate a part time workers entitlement?  Let’s take a look at Amy, our hypothetical part time worker to illustrate how her holidays are calculated.

1. Amy works 3 days each week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and her entitlement to holidays is a pro-rata equivalent of the company’s entitlement for full time staff, which is 20 days plus bank holidays giving full time staff a total of 28 days holiday per year.

2. Amy is therefore entitled to three fifths of the holiday entitlement for a full time member of staff, which equates to 16.8 days.

3. Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, employers cannot round down holidays but they can be rounded up.  Amy’s employer therefore rounds her entitlement up to 17 days each year.

4. Amy’s employer then needs to look at each holiday year in its own right to determine which bank holidays fall on Amy’s normal working days.  The company’s holiday year runs from January to December each year.

5. In 2017, the bank holiday which fell in lieu of New Year’s Day (which was a Sunday) fell on a Monday.  Other bank holidays falling on Amy’s normal working days are Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank, Late Summer and Christmas Day.  So 6 of the bank holidays fall on one of Amy’s normal working days in 2017.

6. Good Friday and Boxing Day fall on a Friday and Tuesday respectively, which are not Amy’s normal working days.

7. The 6 bank holidays which fall on Amy’s normal working days are therefore deducted from Amy’s 17 days entitlement as ‘fixed’ holiday days.

8. Amy is therefore left with 11 days ‘flexible’ holiday to take on days of her choosing throughout 2017.

Part time holiday calculations can be confusing for both employers and employees so we would recommend you prepare a schedule each year to provide to your part time workers to determine their ‘flexible’ holiday entitlement.  Remember, some of the bank holidays move each year so will fall on different days, so you will need to undertake this exercise at the start of each holiday year.

This illustration above is a useful example where part time staff work set hours each day.  Where your part time workers working irregular hours or a different number of hours each day, we would recommend you convert their holiday entitlement into hours rather than days.

Here at SCE Solicitors, we are experts in helping staff manage their staff and are always on hand and happy to provide guidance.  If you would like to discuss holiday entitlements, reviewing your holiday policy or any other employment law issue, please contact me on 01133 50 40 30 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and dispute resolution practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here. 

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