Blue Monday: an employer’s survival guide
Every single employee has a legal right to holidays – that part’s black and white. But what might not be so clear is how much they’re entitled to, and managing multiple holiday requests.
If holidays are giving you a headache, then we’re your solution. Our HR & Employment Law experts will help you with everything from working out entitlements and calculating how much leave’s due, to setting up bespoke policies and following fair processes.
Even better, we’ll give you access to an online holiday management tool, where you’ll be able to accept and reject requests, view team calendars, and see the number of holiday days taken, pending, approved for the future, over booked and remaining.
Have we piqued your interest? Great! Then get in touch with the team on 0345 844 1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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All employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks, with a maximum of 28 days of holiday leave – including bank holidays. Of these 28 days, 20 are based on European law (Working Time Directive) and the remaining eight are under UK law (Working Time Regulations).
If you’ve got part-time workers, they’re entitled to the same amount as full-time employees – 5.6 of ‘their’ weeks.
So, for example, if you have a part-time employee who works five mornings a week, they’d be entitled to 28 mornings’ worth of annual leave each year.
Similarly, if you’ve a part-time employee who works three full days a week, they’d be entitled to 16.8 days’ annual leave each year. The maths behind it: 28 days (the annual holiday entitlement) x 3/5 (the number of days they work against full-time employees).
You’re not legally required to give employees bank or public holidays as paid leave. Should you wish to though, you can include them in employees’ statutory annual leave – it’s entirely up to you.
Although 5.6 weeks is the legal minimum holidays an employee’s entitled to, there’s nothing stopping you from allowing employees more. It’s an attractive perk for many, and something we actually head up here at Citation.
Legally, there’s no such thing as ‘accruing’ holidays anymore, but the term ’holiday accrual’ is still used – normally in relation to when in your holiday year an employee starts their employment with you. If they join you at the beginning of your holiday year, then they’re automatically entitled to a full year’s worth of annual leave.
However, if they start a quarter of the way through your holiday year, they’d lose that quarter and would just be entitled to the remaining three quarters. And the same principal would apply if they started two fifths, half or three quarters of the way throughout the year, and so on.
When it comes to annual leave, a concern for many employers is employees taking a chunk of their entitlement as soon as they start their employment, and then leaving the business soon after.
To overcome this, if you want, you can put conditions in place that restrict the taking of holiday entitlement during an employee’s first year of employment. The restriction would limit employees to 1/12th of the full leave entitlement for each month of service.
You can determine your own rules around the notice period needed to request leave. If you do this, it should be set out in your holiday terms and conditions and consistently rolled out across all employees.
If you don’t have your own procedure in place, the statutory fall-back position is that employees must request their leave at least twice the length of leave before the leave date. So, for example, if an employee’s asking for two weeks off, they must lodge their request four weeks prior to their leave date.
In addition, you must give the employee an answer to the request at least the length of leave before the leave date. So, sticking with the request for two weeks off, you’d have to let the employee know whether or not their request has been accepted or rejected at least two weeks before their leave date.
If you need help taking the hassle out of holidays, then you’re in the right place. Our HR & Employment Law experts know holiday entitlements like the back of their hand and, with our 24/7 advice line, they’ll be there for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Better yet, Citation clients get access to our online holiday management tool in Atlas. With this, you can manage and view everyone’s holidays in one, online, easy-to-use location.
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