2018 is now well under way and your staff are probably already dreaming of their summer holidays. If your holiday year runs January-December then you may also be starting to receive annual leave requests for the year. But do you know exactly how much holiday your employees are legally entitled to, and what to do if they request more or less than this?
What does the law say?
Your employees are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year. If they work a 5 day week this amounts to 28 days per year. If they work fewer than 5 days in the week, you can calculate their annual entitlement by taking the number of days they work and multiplying this by 5.6.
Remember; this total entitlement includes bank holidays. If you have an office shut down over Bank Holidays you may wish to write into your contracts of employment that employees are entitled to 20 days annual leave plus bank holidays to ensure that leave is taken on Bank Holidays when the office is closed.
What if your employees have lots of holiday left at the end of the year?
Any holiday days from the original 5.6 weeks statutory entitlement must be taken within the holiday year in question, otherwise it will be forfeited.
Employees do not have the right to carry annual leave over into the following year, however if they have some days lefts at the end of the holiday year, and both the employer and employee agree, then they may be allowed to carry over the leftover days to the next holiday year. Most employees that offer this kind of scheme will cap the numbers of days that are able to be carried over.
Employees must take a minimum of 4 weeks of their statutory leave, so only statutory holiday on top of this (1.6 weeks) can be carried over and then only if the employer gives permission. Where the employee is entitled to additional contractual leave, this may also be carried over as permitted by their contract of employment.
What if they want to take more holiday?
You may offer your employees over and above their statutory entitlement, or you may increase their leave alongside length of service.
If they wish to take more leave than their entitlement, and it suits the needs of the business, then you may authorise them to take these days unpaid. If you do not authorise these days, then they will be classed as an unauthorised absence and disciplinary steps may need to be taken against them.
TBOS will run the staff payroll for Agencies who use our TBOS Complete Service. This takes away the hassle of calculating holiday and other payments. For more information, please call us in 0345 504 6333.