Bank holidays are public holidays that are recognised by law in the UK: in England there are usually 8 per year and in 2023 there are 9, due to the King’s Coronation.
However, bank holiday entitlement can be a confusing area of employment law, especially when it comes to calculating holiday entitlement for full-time and part-time employees. Under UK Employment law, an employer can choose to include and exclude bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave and the holiday does not have to be given as paid leave.
In this article we look at the types of bank holiday entitlement and how to calculate this for full-time and part-time employees as well as how to calculate annual leave.
Bank Holiday Entitlement for Full-Time Employees
Full-time employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days’ paid annual leave, which can include and exclude bank holidays.
To work out how many bank holidays a full-time employee is entitled to, you can use a simple formula:
(Number of bank holidays in a year) x (Number of days per week worked) ÷ (Number of days per week in a full-time contract) = Bank holiday entitlement
For example, if there are 9 bank holidays in a year, and a full-time employee works 5 days a week on a standard 40-hour contract, their bank holiday entitlement would be:
9 x 5 ÷ 5 = 9 days
The type of contract an employee is on can also affect their holiday entitlement. For example, zero-hours contracts do not guarantee a minimum number of hours, and so holiday entitlement is calculated based on the actual hours worked. Fixed-term contracts may have a pro-rated holiday entitlement based on the length of the contract.
Bank Holiday Entitlement for Part-Time Employees
By law, part-time employees cannot be treated less favourably than their full-time co-workers: they are entitled to the same amount of holiday as full-time employees, on a pro-rata basis.
To work out how many bank holidays a part-time employee is entitled to, you can use a simple formula:
(contractual hours per week) ÷ (the full-time equivalent hours) x (full-time equivalent bank holiday entitlement) = Bank holiday entitlement
For example, if a full-time employee is entitled to 28 days of holiday per year, a part-time employee who works three days per week could be entitled to 16.8 days of holiday per year (based on a five-day working week).
For part-time employees, annual leave is calculated based on the employee’s average weekly earnings over the previous 12 weeks. This means that if a part-time employee’s hours vary each week, their holiday pay will also vary.
What Happens to Bank Holidays if an Employee Doesn’t Work Mondays?
Of the 9 bank bank holidays in the UK this year 6 fall on a Monday. However, the rules for part-time employees can be more complex, particularly if they do not work on Mondays.
If a part-time employee’s regular day off falls on a bank holiday Monday, they may be entitled to a day off with pay, dependent upon their contract and their employer’s policies. For example, if a part-time employee works on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the bank holiday falls on a Monday, they may be entitled to take the day off on Tuesday or Thursday and receive their normal pay.
How to manage your Employees’ Bank Holiday entitlement.
In conclusion, bank holiday entitlement can be a confusing topic, especially for part-time and full time employees. However, it’s important for both employers and employees to understand the rules around holiday entitlement and how it is affected by different types of contracts.
Bank Holidays also vary according to the geographic region your business operates in.
Having clear policies in place regarding bank holiday entitlement for your employees is critical and helps avoid confusion and ensure that employees are treated fairly.
At BedrockHR, our team helps businesses, charities, and schools create policies that are clear for all employees. We regularly assist clients in creating employment contracts that ensure all employees receive their entitled holiday allowance.
Book a discovery call today to learn more about our HR services and how we can help your business.