Holiday Entitlement Calculator. Understand your accrued holiday leave

Caragh Bailey
11 min read
Employment Law Friend's Holiday Entitlement Calculator

Employment law grants you the statutory right to paid holiday. However, how long you get depends on your contract of employment. Below is a guide to help you calculate what your paid holiday leave should be and what to do if you have been underpaid or given less holiday.

Jump ahead:

Have you been furloughed? You continue to accrue holiday pay as normal.

Statutory holiday entitlement

You have the right to:
  • Paid holiday leave for 5.6 weeks per year (at your normal rate of pay/wage) If you work a 5 day week this amounts to at least 28 days. Don't forget that bank holidays count as part of your holiday entitlement. (See below for other working patterns).

  • Accrue (build up) holiday entitlement during:
    • Maternity leave
    • Paternity leave
    • Adoption leave
    • Shared parental leave
    • Parental grievance leave
    • Sick leave
    • Furlough, under the coronavirus job retention scheme

  • Request holiday pay at the same time as sick leave
    • If you are sick during your holiday leave, you can take it as sick leave instead
    • If you are off sick, but can’t or don’t want to take sick leave, you can take it as holiday leave instead

You do not have the right to accrue further paid leave if you are working 6 days a week. The law does not require that you receive any more than 28 days statutory holiday pay, unless your employment contract allows you to. see extra holiday leave

Calculate my weekly pay
The following calculations are based on worked hours per week. If you are paid monthly calculate your weekly pay now:
    Add up all the hours you worked in the previous month
    Divide your month’s pay by the hours worked
    This is your average hourly pay
    Multiply your hourly pay by the number of hours you work in a week
    This is your average weekly pay

  • For example: Jane worked 139 hours last month, she was payed £1251.
  • £1251 divided by 139 is £9. This is Jane's average hourly pay.
  • Jane works 32 hours per week. £9 multiplied by 32 is 288. This is Jane's average weekly pay.

Work out holiday entitlement when starting a new job

Your employer may use the accrual system. (to accrue means to build up over time) You are entitled to one twelfth of your annual leave per month that you work.

If you work 5 days per week, you are entitled to 28 days of statutory holiday leave in a year.
  • 28 divided by 12 months is 2.3 recurring (2 ⅓)
  • 2.3 recurring multiplied by 3 months is 7
  • After 3 months in your new job you will have accrued 7 days of holiday leave

Calculate part time holiday pay

To calculate part time holiday pay you get 5.6 weeks per year too, at the number of days per week you work.

For example, if you work 4 days a week you are entitled to 22.4 days paid leave (4 x 5.6 )

I work irregular hours: work out my holiday entitlement
If you do irregular shift work, your accrued holiday entitlement is calculated based on your average hours worked in a week multiplied by 5.6 weeks.

To find your average weekly hours, add up all the hours you worked over the past 52 weeks and divide them by 52.

If you worked 832 hours in the last 52 weeks, divide 832 by 52, which is 16.

This means you work on average 16 hours a week, you are entitled to 89.6 hours paid leave (16 x 5.6)

Weeks not worked do not count
In a Supreme Court ruling, particularly poignant to term-time workers, a Court of Appeal and EAT decision has been upheld, meaning that permanent staff's holiday pay entitlement should not be pro-rata'd out to reflect weeks not worked.

(Although, this decision does not effect you if you have a stable annualised salary - such as teachers, who receive the same monthly pay regardless of how much they have worked).

This means that weeks with no earnings must be ignored when making the above equation, extending the averaging period back to bring the total up to 52 worked weeks. Those working less than 46.4 working weeks in a year must still get their statutory 5.6 weeks holiday pay - at their average rate of pay when they are working.

This may give rise to issues with permanent staff who are contracted to work only a few weeks a year - Imagine if an employee only worked full time for 6 weeks during the summer holidays each year and was then entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday at full pay.

Fixed term contracts have been recommended to remedy this potential issue, as this ruling will not effect workers whose employment starts and ends in the same leave year. However, legal advice should be sought to mitigate against issues arising from the use of successive contracts.

Read more about this landmark case, Supreme Court: Harpur Trust V Brazel.

I’m an agency worker: work out my holiday entitlement
Under ‘equal treatment’ you are entitled to paid leave after 12 weeks from your first day in a job.

The twelve weeks include:
The twelve weeks do not include:
  • Pregnancy, and up to 26 weeks after childbirth
  • Paternity leave
  • Adoption leave
  • Breaks of 6 weeks or less
  • Sickness or injury leave, up to 28 weeks
  • Annual leave
  • Days your place of work is closed, such as religious holidays
  • Jury service (up to 28 weeks)

Any time towards your 12 weeks is wiped clean if you:
  • Have a break of more than 6 weeks
  • Begin a different job at a different workplace
  • Begin a different job at the same workplace(different skills, training, pay, location or working hours)

If you do not take your holiday leave during your employment, your employer must pay you for it anyway (in lieu.)

Zero hour contract holiday pay

    To calculate your average worked hours use the past 52 weeks, up to the last whole week you worked (if you are paid weekly end on the last day of your last pay-week, if you aren’t, end on the last Saturday)

      Add up all the hours you worked over those 52 weeks and divide them by 52.
      This is your average week
    • This does not include any weeks where you did not work. If there are any full weeks in which you worked zero hours, you must include the most recent weeks in which you did work from the previous year.
    • If you worked in less than 52 of the past 104 weeks, your holiday pay entitlement is calculated based on the shorter reference period of the total weeks in which you did work.
    • Add up all the hours you worked over the weeks that you did work and divide them by the number of weeks you worked. This is your average week
      Your holiday entitlement is calculated based on your average hours worked in a week multiplied by 5.6 weeks.
    • Aftab worked 46 out of the last 104 weeks. During that time he worked a total of 2208 hours
    • 2208 hours divided by 46 weeks is 48 hours. This is Aftab's average weekly hours
    • 48 hours multiplied by 5.6 weeks is 268.8 hours. This is Aftab's holiday entitlement

    Frequently Asked Questions

    A ‘leave year’ can be any year long period that is agreed upon in writing between you and your employer (usually in your contract of employment)

    If the start and end are not specified then it depends on when you started your job:

    Since October 1998: It starts on the day you started your job

    On or before 1st October 1998: It starts on the 1st of October
    Your employer can give you more paid holiday leave than your 5.6 weeks of statutory leave if they want to.
    They get to specify any conditions on your entitlement to additional holiday leave. For example, you may only get it after a certain amount of time in the job.
    Your employer must give you time off of work to attend Jury Service.

    If you are a member of any reserve forces (such as army reserves) you have certain protections under employment law if you are called up for service.

    Public Duties
    You can get time off of work for public duties, your employer may choose to pay you for this additional leave, but they don’t have to.
    • a magistrate
    • a local councillor
    • a school governor

    Or a member of:

    • a statutory tribunal
    • the managing body of an educational establishment
    • the governing body of an educational establishment
    • a health authority
    • a school council
    • a school board (Scotland)
    • the Environment Agency
    • the Scottish Environment Protection agency
    • the prison independent monitoring boards (England or Wales)
    • the prison visiting committees (Scotland)
    • Scottish Water
    • a Water Customer Consultation Panel
    • a trade union (for related duties)
    • You’ve requested too much time off
    • You’ve had enough time off for public duties already
    • Your absence would affect the business
    They cannot refuse to give you time off for Jury service.
    • an agency worker
    • a member of the police service or armed forces
    • employed on a fishing vessel or a gas or oil rig at sea
    • a merchant seaman
    • a civil servant, if the public duties are connected to political activities which are restricted under their terms of your employment
    They cannot refuse to give you time off for Jury service.
    If you think that your employers decision not to grant you time off of work for public duties is wrong, you can raise a grievance
    Your employer does not have to give you bank holidays off of work if they are not included in your holiday entitlement (if you have used up your statutory entitlement elsewhere.)

    If your contract does not specify that you get bank holidays off of work, you will have to request the holiday leave pending approval from your employer as normal.)

    Your employer can make you take bank holidays as part of your paid leave. For example if your place of work is closed over Christmas, they can choose for those days that you are not working to use up days of your holiday entitlement.
    When carrying over leave, your statutory holiday entitlement is divided into two parts. The first four weeks and the final 1.6 weeks.

    The first four weeks of annual leave usually cannot be carried over to the following year, unless you have been unable to take your statutory annual leave due to:
    • Sick leave
    • Parental leave

    The 1.6 weeks can be carried over, for no more than one year, by agreement between you and your employer.

    Your employer has a responsibility to make sure that you can take your paid holiday leave.
    • They must make sure that there is enough time in your work schedule to be on holiday leave for 5.6 weeks of the year
    • They must not pay you the holiday pay ‘in lieu’, instead of giving you the holiday leave
    • They must not ‘roll-up’ your holiday pay (include an amount for holiday pay into your hourly rate, instead of granting you leave)
    This would discourage you from taking your statutory holiday leave, which is granted by employment law to make sure that you have time for rest, personal commitments and leisure.
    • They can only pay you your holiday pay entitlement in lieu (without you taking the equivalent leave), when you are leaving a job and have holiday entitlement outstanding.

    Ask your boss to renegotiate your contract if your rate of pay includes ‘rolled-up’ holiday pay.

    Carrying over annual leave due to Coronavirus

    Covid-19 may make it unreasonable or impractical for you to take all of your statutory holiday entitlement.
    For example:
    • You are a critical worker
    • You are needed to provide cover for other staff members
    • Your place of work is facing staff shortages
    • Your place of work will face staff shortages if everyone takes their holiday before the end of the year

    If this is the case, you are entitled to carry the first four weeks of your statutory holiday entitlement into the next two years.

    The final 1.6 weeks of your holiday allowance may still be carried forward one year, by agreement between you and your employer.
    furloughed employees

    Was your holiday calculation incorrect?

    Not all employers give the correct holiday entitlement so if you feel that yours has been mis-calculated, whether on purpose or not, you can get in contact with us and see how we can help.

    Employment Law Specialist | Competitive Quotes | Straight Talking Legal Support

This content is provided free of charge for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of our company. For employment law advice please get in contact and speak to your employment law solicitors.
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