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The Government has recently published a new piece of guidance on how to calculate statutory holiday entitlement for workers. It goes hand-in-hand with a revised holiday entitlement calculator, which can be accessed here . The guidance looks at four different types of worker – those with a fixed working pattern, involving a set number of days; those whose contracts provide for a set number of hours to be worked in a particular period of time; those with casual, irregular or annualized hours; and shift workers. The guidance then takes four different calculations (working out leave for a full leave year; for someone who starts work part-way through the leave year; for someone who leaves part-way through a leave year; and for someone who joins part-way through and leaves before the end of a leave year) and applies them to each of the four different categories of worker.

What is likely to be of most interest to schools is the section on casual/irregular/annualized-hours workers, although that category gets the least amount of attention in the guidance. What it does say is that those engaged for a full year are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ annual leave (reflecting the judgement in Brazel v The Harpur Trust – all references to the pre-Brazel ACAS calculation of 12.07% have gone); that the Working Time Regulations do not provide a mechanism for converting that entitlement into days or hours for workers with irregular hours, and that in practice employers may wish to calculate average days or hours worked each week based on a representative reference period. The guidance is careful to note that it is not intended to be relied upon in any specific context. Whilst there are some worked examples of entitlement calculations, it is, by its own admission, of limited use.

The guidance does not address how to work out what to pay workers for holiday, only how much holiday they are entitled to. There is separate guidance updated in August 2019 on calculating holiday pay for workers without fixed hours or pay, which can be found here. That guidance is likely to be updated at some point in light of the change in the reference period for calculating holiday pay from 12 weeks to 52 weeks (which takes effect from 6 April 2020).

If you require further information about anything covered in this briefing, please contact Jonathan Eley or your usual contact at the firm on +44 (0)20 3375 7000.

This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Farrer & Co LLP, December 2019

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