How much holiday should I get?

Most workers are entitled to not less than 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year. If you work part-time, this is pro-rated e.g. if you work 3 days per week you are entitled to 16.8 days’ leave.

In some cases, your employer will offer you more leave than this – it will depend on what has been agreed – but they cannot offer you less.

There is no additional right to paid bank holidays unless your contract says so.

Your employer can require that you take your leave at a specified time e.g. during times when the business is less busy.

If you cannot take all your leave because of maternity or sick leave, you have the right to carry over this leave into the next leave year. In other cases, there is no automatic right to carry over leave.

You are not entitled to paid holidays if you are self-employed or in the armed forces, police or civil protection services (e.g. fire brigade, coastguard etc) – although your employer should still give you holiday pay (called ‘contractual holiday’).

What should I be paid?

You are entitled to be paid the same rate of pay on holiday as you normally receive in your job. This includes any contractual or regular overtime and commission payments.

If your pay or your hours of work vary from week to week, the amount you are entitled to is the mean average amount you earned in the past 12 weeks.

Commonly agency and other workers are given extra pay on top of their hourly pay rather than being given paid holiday leave (called ‘rolled up holiday pay’). If this is done without your agreement or a way that is not clear and transparent way, it will be unlawful.

Holiday pay when leaving a job

If your employment is ending and you have holidays that you have built up but will not take before your employment ends, your employer must pay you for theses instead.

Legal action

If you are denied your holiday rights or pay you can bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal. The time-limits are short and strict.

Our services

Our employment lawyers regularly advise on holiday rights and pay.

If you are not sure if you are receiving your full holidays or the correct  holiday pay, you can telephone our employment team direct on 020 7653 3222 or email us

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