How much vacation time you should have
The statutory annual leave entitlement for workers in the United Kingdom is 28 days per annum. This includes bank holidays, public holidays, sick pay, maternity/paternity leave, adoption leave, bereavement leave, and flexible working. However, employers are allowed to give additional paid leave to their employees.
Holiday accrual starts on the day of hire. Employees start counting their holiday hours once they begin work. If an employee works for less than six months, he or she does not receive any holiday credit.
Employers can choose whether or not to provide additional paid leave. They may choose to do so voluntarily, or they may be required to do so under law. For example, many companies now require employees to take up to four weeks of unpaid leave during each 12 month period.
Statutory annual leave
Your employer must give you statutory annual leave. This is a fixed amount of paid leave per calendar year. You are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of statutory annual leave each year. If you don’t use it all up, you’ll lose it.
You’re entitled to take off sick leave too, but you won’t receive any money for doing so. Sickness benefit schemes vary across the UK, but generally cover around 70% of wages.
The law says employers must pay you at least £5.19 per hour for every hour you work. They must also pay you at least the national living wage (currently £7.20 per hour), unless you agree otherwise.
If you work part-time, you might still qualify for statutory maternity pay.
Employers cannot require you to work unpaid overtime.
employees are getting the same paid holiday breaks as “full timers”.
The government says it is trying to encourage people into part-time work. But some say it is just giving employers another excuse to pay less wages.
In July, the government introduced legislation requiring companies with 250 or more employees to give their part-time workers the same number of paid annual leave days as full-time workers.
But many businesses have complained about how complicated it is to calculate how much leave each employee gets.
So now the government has agreed to help out by creating a calculator to make it easier to figure out how much leave you’re entitled to.
Businesses must tell their part-time workers how much leave they’ve got coming – whether it’s one day off per week or five days off over six weeks.
And they must do it within three months of starting employment.
If they fail to do this, they could face fines of up to £3,500.
Shift, term-time and zero-hours workers with ongoing contracts
The government has introduced legislation to make it easier for businesses to employ people on shiftwork and term-time working hours. Employers will now be able to offer flexible shifts and term-times without having to provide notice periods. Zero-hour contracts will be outlawed and employees will be entitled to paid annual leave and sick pay.
The changes come into force on April 5th 2020, and apply to anyone employing 25 or more people. They follow a consultation period where the government received over 18,000 responses.
In addition to the above changes, there will be amendments to existing employment law including:
• A ban on unpaid overtime
• An end to forced labour
• The introduction of a statutory minimum wage
• New protections against discrimination
If you’re employed for less than a year
The government has announced that it will introduce a new national living wage for employees aged 25 and under. From April 2018, employers must pay those aged 21 and under £7.50 per hour; 22-24 year olds £8.25; and 25 and under £9.00. Employers are required to pay the same amount regardless of whether the worker is full-time or part-time.
However, zero hours workers cannot claim any leave or holiday pay. They also do not qualify for sick pay or maternity pay.
Employees aged 25 and above are entitled to £10.55 per hour.
If you’re self-employed
Self-employment can be great – it gives you flexibility over how much you earn and what you do. But there are some things you need to know before signing up to become a freelancer.
You might think that you can just turn up one day and start earning money immediately. But that isn’t always possible. You’ll usually need to apply for permits and licences, set up bank accounts and insurance policies, and find clients. And once you’ve done those things, you still won’t necessarily make lots of money straight away.
That’s because many businesses don’t want to pay freelancers upfront. They’d rather hire people on a project basis, paying them for each task completed. So even though you might be able to charge £500 per hour, you could end up making less than £100 per week.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are ways to make more money as a freelancer. Here are three tips to help you boost your earnings…
1. Be organised
The most important thing to remember when starting out as a freelancer is that you’ll need to keep track of everything yourself. This includes invoices, payments, expenses, taxes, and anything else that affects your bottom line.
2. Get professional advice
Holiday that’s less than a full day
The government says you’re entitled to five paid public holidays each year – New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Anzac Day and Christmas Day. But there’s one holiday that doesn’t fall into any of those categories. And it’s not even a national holiday.
It’s called “part days”. You’ve probably never heard of them because employers don’t count them towards your annual leave entitlement.
But according to the Fair Work Commission, you do deserve some extra time off work.
In fact, under current law, you’re entitled to five part days per year.
And while most people think of part days as being half days, that isn’t always the case.
For example, if you worked a normal 40 hour week over six weeks, you’d be entitled to 20 hours’ annual leave.
If you worked four 10-hour shifts over three weeks, you’d be eligible for 30 hours’ annual leave. So if you worked a total of 14 hours during that period, you’d actually be entitled to 42 hours of annual leave.
Maternity and other parental leave
Accrued holiday is paid out when you’ve taken leave. If you’re taking maternity or paternity leave, you’ll accrue holiday days while you are away. So, if you take 12 weeks’ maternity leave, you’ll accumulate 12 weeks’ holiday entitlement. This is called ‘accrued holiday’.
You cannot take any accrued holiday during your shared parental leave. Shared parental leave is unpaid leave you can take up to 18 months after having children. You don’t earn any holiday entitlement during this period.
If you adopt a child, you cannot take any accrued holiday entitlement during your adoption leave. Adoption leave is unpaid leave you take after adopting a child.
If you’re not sure how much holiday you should get
Holiday entitlements differ across organisations. Some offer unlimited leave while others cap it at 12 weeks per year. If you don’t know what your employer offers, ask them. They might surprise you.
Your written terms will tell you exactly how much leave you are eligible for. You can usually find this information online or by contacting HR. But there’s one thing you mustn’t overlook – the statutory minimum annual leave requirement. This is set out in law and applies to every employee working for an employer in Great Britain.
The government says employees should receive 28 days off work each calendar year. However, the amount of paid leave you are entitled to depends on whether you are employed full-time or part-time. Full-time workers are entitled to 26 weeks of leave, plus an additional 2 weeks of statutory maternity pay. Part-time workers are entitled just 24 weeks of leave.
Some employers will allow employees to select whether or not they want work on a Sunday. In fact, some companies even pay people extra if they work on Sundays.
In most cases, however, it isn’t possible to opt out of working on a particular day. This is because many businesses don’t open their doors on Sundays, which means that there aren’t any customers around.
Betting shops are one example of a job where workers are typically paid extra if they work a Sunday. These jobs usually involve long hours and weekend shifts.
Night working hours
The European Union defines night working hours as those between 21:00 and 06:00. This includes weekends and public holidays. In some countries, it is illegal to work during this period.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my company deny my request for a vacation, even though I’ve already booked the time off?
If you are planning to take some annual leave, you should check whether your employer allows you to do so. You might want to book your holiday early in case your employer does not allow you to change your plans. However, there are exceptions. Your employer can refuse your request for holiday leave if you have already booked it. This applies to both paid and unpaid holidays.
Your employer must give you as much notice as you asked for when refusing your request. They must tell you how long they plan to refuse your request. For example, if you ask for 4 weeks’ holiday and your employer says no, they must say why within 2 weeks.
Your employer cannot refuse to let you go home if you have taken your minimum entitlement of 28 days’ leave for the year.
My company may take excess holiday compensation from my final paycheck.
Your employer cannot deduct overpayments of annual leave from your final salary payment. However, it can refuse to grant you annual leave, and so you will lose out on your annual leave entitlement. This could mean that you do not receive your full amount of statutory sick pay or maternity/paternity pay.
You are entitled to be paid in place of any unpaid holiday entitlement on the termination date of your contract, and so it is normally more cost effective for your employers to allow you to take holidays during your notice period. If your employer refuses to grant you leave, you can claim compensation for lost earnings under the Employment Rights Act 1996.