Holiday Entitlement for Part-Time Employees

Part-time employees also get 5.6 x the number of working days as holiday entitlement in UK. Free holiday entitlement online calculator tool available inside.
  • Author: Siva
  • Last updated: November 17, 2022
  • 5 Minutes
holiday entitlement for part time employees in UK workplaces explained by Papershift

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Everybody needs a holiday from time to time to have a break from the strains of working. Getting away from it all and having fun is a vital part of employee well-being and allows them to recharge and refresh so they can give their best efforts when they return. 

But when you work part-time, you are often bound by rules that restrict how much holiday entitlement you can take. Often these rules can be confusing. 

But never fear because we are here to help. In this article, we will discuss what holiday entitlement for part-time workers in the UK is. We will also talk about the many rules that govern it. 

Let’s get started.

What is the holiday entitlement for part-time workers in the UK?

Your Holiday Entitlement
The law states that almost all workers in the UK have an entitlement to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday each year.

This is known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave. This equates to 28 days of holiday entitlement. Some of these days may be set in stone (such as Christmas and Easter) but others will be flexible.

If an employee works part-time, they are still entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday, just in proportion to the hours they work. This is because UK law states that part-time workers cannot be treated less favourably than full-time workers.

To work out the number of days leave a part-time worker will receive, you need to multiply the number of days they work by 5.6. For example, if you work 3 days a week, you’re entitled to 16.8 days’ paid holiday a year, which equates to 3 x 5.6.

If an employer gives full-time employees more than the statutory annual leave (for example, 6 weeks), then part-time employees must get the same equivalent number of weeks.

Try Papershift’s Staff leave Planner software to automate holiday entitlement.

Free Calculator
Meanwhile, try our ‘Free holiday entitlement calculator‘ online to calculate part-time workers’ eligibility. 

What does the law say about part-time holiday entitlement?

In simple terms, nearly all workers, except those who are self-employed, have an entitlement to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (as mentioned above). The government sets this entitlement out in the Working Time Regulations 1998. 

For a full-time employee who works 5 days a week, 5.6 weeks should equate to 28 days’ leave. This entitlement will often include statutory days like bank and public holidays. 

The Working Time Regulations also sets out the rights of part time workers. In this directive, it states that part time workers should not be disadvantaged in any aspect of their employment including holiday entitlement. This means they should receive the same number of weeks holiday as a full-time employee.

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How is part-time holiday entitlement calculated for those who work fixed shifts?

To calculate holiday entitlement for part time workers who work a specific number of days each week, you need to use the following method:

5.6 x number of working days = Holiday entitlement

What about bank holidays and leave entitlement?

When employees are entitled to bank holidays on top of their annual leave entitlement, this can cause problems because most bank holidays fall on a Monday. This can lead to a part-time worker who works on a Monday having a higher proportion of their holidays “fixed” than a colleague working on other days of the week.

If an employee is typically scheduled to work on a bank holiday and receives this day off as a fixed holiday, their holiday entitlement should automatically be reduced by one day.

If an employee is not typically contracted or scheduled to work on a day when a bank holiday falls, this does not affect their holiday entitlement, as it is not a working day.

Holiday for Part-Timers
The simplest and fairest way of calculating entitlements is to deal with all holidays as an inclusive amount. Therefore, if a part-time employee is entitled to 15 days annual leave plus eight bank holidays, this gives a total of 23 days per annum.

Calculating leave in this way will ensure employers always meet the statutory minimum.

Are bank holidays always included in part-time annual leave entitlement?

The employer can decide whether to include bank holidays into annual leave entitlement. If they do, employees will have a reduced number of leave days to take at their discretion plus 8 days for the bank holidays.

Some companies may not include bank holidays in their holiday entitlement allowing employees to have more days off.

What if a company offers more than the statutory minimum?

If a business allocates more holiday than the statutory entitlement, they need to ensure that their part-time employees also receive the additional entitlement on a pro-rata basis.

For example, if full-time workers are entitled to 30 days’ holiday per year, a person who works four days per week should be entitled to take four-fifths of this, which would equate to 24 days holiday per year (4 ÷ 5 x 30 = 24).

Legislation does not allow leave to be rounded down, and there is no obligation to round up the leave, but employers can do so if they prefer to make numbers easier to handle

What if a part-time worker does not work a set number of days per week?

It is often best when someone works different hours each day or a different number of days each week, to give holiday entitlement as a number of hours per year.

If full-time employee within a business is entitled to 25 days annual leave plus eight bank holidays for example, (which gives 33 days in total) the entitlement of a part time worker who works 20 hours per week would be calculated as:

20 (hours per week worked) x 6.6 (the number of weeks a full-time worker would receive as holiday) = 132 hours holiday per year.

Again, this calculation includes the bank holiday entitlement.

What about holiday pay? 

Holiday pay is pay an employee receives whilst on leave from their job. It is generally given so that staff can take holidays or complete various out of work tasks. An employee should receive the same amount of pay while taking a paid holiday as they would if they were at work. 

Check our featured guide on ‘How to calculate holiday pay?’

How much will I be paid when on paid leave? 

This can depend on the number of hours you work and the type of contract you have. You should receive the same amount of pay whilst on leave as you would if you work. This is a statutory requirement set out in law. How an employee calculates this can differ based on the number of hours you work and the contract you have with them. This is especially true if you work irregular hours or shift patterns.

In conclusion

Holiday entitlement for part-time workers can be tricky to manage, especially if their shift patterns are not fixed. We hope, with a little help from this guide, you now feel more confident with dealing with the topic.

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Written by Siva

I write & describe the value & benefits delivered by Paperhift's rota planning, staff time tracking, and employee payroll management software. Especially useful for Shift Planners, Rota Managers, Team Admins, and HR Teams :-)