Taking time off from work to either go on holiday or spend holiday time at home plays an important role in many peoples’ lives. A number of issues arise in relation to holidays and an answer to some of the key questions are as follows:
Who is entitled to take holiday?
The right to take a minimum period of holiday applies to employees and workers but not to the genuinely self-employed. This issue has given rise to recent cases involving well-known business including Uber and Pimlico Plumbers.
How much time may be taken off?
The minimum statutory holiday entitlement for employees and workers is 5.6 weeks per year, i.e. 28 days for a full-time employee or pro-rata for part-time employees. Businesses however often provide holiday entitlement in excess of the statutory minimum.
Is the holiday paid?
A worker is entitled to be paid for the statutory minimum holiday entitlement at the rate of a week’s pay for each week of holiday.
Does the employer have any discretion as to how or when time may be taken?
The employer may require an employee or worker to take, or not to take, holiday on specific dates which, in effect, gives the employer absolute discretion over when the holiday may be taken, provided it gives the employee requisite notice.
Annual holiday entitlement must be taken during the employer’s holiday year. Workers or employees who start or leave during a holiday year will have a pro-rata entitlement to holiday. During the first 12 months of employment a worker or employee cannot take more holiday than is deemed to have accrued, accruing at the rate of 1/12th of a full year’s entitlement at the beginning of each month in the first 12 months.