Knowledge Centre


Almost all people classed as workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday a year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). For a full-time worker (5 days per week) this equates to 28 days. This includes agency workers, workers with irregular hours, workers on zero-hour contracts.

Your employer, you can choose include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave. This should be stated in your contract of employment or employee handbook.

As an employee you will have the right to: get holiday pay, build up (accrue) holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity, and adoption leave, build up holiday entitlement while off work sick and request holiday at the same time as sick leave.

Annual leave begins to build up (accrue) as soon as you start your job. An employer, you can choose to use a ‘leave year’ or an ‘accrual system’ to work out how much leave you should get.

Offering additional holiday

Your employer can choose to offer more leave than the legal minimum. They do not have to apply all the rules that apply to statutory leave to the extra leave. For example, a worker might need to be employed for a certain amount of time before they become entitled to additional days leave.

Working part time

Part-time workers are entitled to at least 5.6 weeks of paid holiday, but this will amount to fewer than 28 days.

For example, if they work 3 days a week, they must get at least 16.8 days leave a year (3 x 5.6).

Irregular Hours

People working irregular hours (like shift workers or term-time workers) are entitled to paid time off for every hour they work. You can use the holiday entitlement calculator ( to get an estimate based on days or hours worked in an average week.

Holiday Pay

Your workers are entitled to a week’s pay for each week of statutory leave that they take. A week’s pay is worked out according to the kind of hours someone works, and what they’re paid for those hours. This includes full-time, part-time, term-time and casual workers.

Changes to Holiday Pay 1st January 2024

Proposed legislation aims to rectify holiday entitlement disparities by introducing a streamlined approach, calculating holiday pay for part-time and irregular hours workers at 12.07% of the hours worked in a pay period. This also includes rolled up holiday pay for some workers. The changes come into affect 1st January 2024 for holiday years that start from 1st April 2024.

Calculating Holiday on overtime, commission, and bonuses

If you regularly pay your employees overtime, commission and bonuses, you must include these payments in at least 4 weeks of an employee’s paid holiday.

You might choose include overtime, commission and bonus payments in the full 5.6 weeks paid holiday (statutory annual leave), but you do not have to. This is because the law on overtime, commission and bonus payments being included in holiday pay is based on the EU Working Time Directive, which is 4 weeks holiday only.