All people classed as workers are entitled to holiday. They must be given a minimum of 5.6 weeks of holiday in every year, for full time employees this is equivalent to 28 days.

  • Bank holidays can be included in this entitlement, or they can be in addition.
  • An employer can choose to offer more holiday entitlement.
  • An employee starts accruing holiday from their first day of employment.
  • They are paid at their normal rate while on holiday.
  • Employees continue to accrue holiday while on sickness, or family friendly leave.
  • An employer can tell an employee when they take their holiday so long as they give the appropriate notice (double the length of time that they are expecting the employee to take).

For employees who are part-time or part way through the year, they must still be given the equivalent holiday entitlement, this can be calculated using the examples below:

Annie is part-time

Annie works 3 days a week, the full-time equivalent holiday entitlement at her place of work is 33 days (including bank holidays).

33 days ÷ 5 days (for full time) x 3 days (for Annie’s working arrangement) = 19.8 days (in most circumstances it is easier to manage if you round up the decimal place, but you must never round down)

Joseph joined part way through the year

Joseph is working full time for the same employer, but he started work on 1 April, the holiday year runs from 1 January through to 31 December, thus he will only get a proportion of the full entitlement.

33 days ÷ 365 days (full year) x 274 days (part of the year Joseph will work) = 24.8

For part year, part time workers we can do both!


Takeshi joined at the same time as Joseph but will only work 3 days a week. It doesn’t matter which element you consider first so long as both are included in the calculation sequentially.

33 ÷ 5 days x 3 days = 19.8 for the full year at part time, thus 19.8 ÷ 365 x 274 = 14.9 days (rounded up to 15)


33 days ÷ 365 days x 274 days = 24.8 for part year at full time hours, thus 24.8 ÷ 5 x 3 = 14.9 (rounded up to 15)

Irregular Part Time and Zero Hours Part-Year Workers

A recent case went through the Appeals Court to decide how to calculate pay for those who work zero hours or irregular part time contracts for only part of the year such as term time workers (Peripatetic music teachers for example).

The case was Harper Trust vs Brazel.

This result means that holiday calculations for part time, part year workers must now be considered over the preceding 52 weeks (previously it was only 12 weeks) and any weeks in which the individual does not work must not be included in the calculation. Effectively, making the calculation the same as the part time, full year calculation shown above.