As an employee, you are entitled to certain breaks from your work. You also have the right to accrue holiday from the day your employment begins. You should receive a minimum amount of holiday, known as statutory annual leave, which should be paid at the same rate as your pay for time that you work.

What are my rights under the Working Time Regulations?

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (the Regulations) limit the hours you can be required to work each week, although you can agree to work more hours if you wish.

The Regulations include the following:

  • Employees cannot be required to work more than 48 hours per week, unless they specifically opt out of this clause;
  • They should have 11 hours of rest between working days;
  • They are entitled to a minimum of one day off each week or two days off per fortnight;
  • No more than 8 hours of night shifts should be worked in any 24 hours;
  • Employees aged 16-18 cannot work more than 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

Am I entitled to a rest break during the working day?

The Regulations also provide that you must be allowed one hour’s rest per 24 hours, with the hour taken all in one block.

If your working day is longer than six hours, you are entitled to an uninterrupted 20-minute rest break as well. Your employer does not have to pay you for this.

This means that you are entitled to three types of rest: rest during your work, rest between work days and weekly or fortnightly rest.

What are my holiday rights?

You have the right to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday or statutory annual leave each year if you work full-time for your employer. This includes days off for bank holidays and usually consists of 20 days or four weeks’ holiday plus 8 bank holidays, or 1.6 weeks.

If you work part-time, you are entitled to a proportion of the 5.6 weeks statutory holiday, in accordance with the number of hours you work, known as pro rata.

To work out how many days of leave you can take, multiply the number of days you work each week by 5.6. This means that if you work 3 days a week, you should be given 16.8 days holiday (3 x 5.6).

Your employer cannot round down a part-day, but you do not have the right to round it up either, so you should ask them how a fraction of a day will be dealt with.

You may be given more than the statutory minimum holiday by your employer. If you work part-time and full-time workers receive more than the minimum holiday entitlement, then you must also receive more, calculated on a pro rata basis.

If you work on a zero-hours contract or do shifts or term-time work only, you are still entitled to statutory annual leave.

The government website includes a holiday entitlement calculator to help you work out how much paid holiday you should be given.

What are the holiday pay laws?

You should receive the same pay on holiday as you do for working. This is generally calculated by looking at the amount of pay received for the last full week you worked before your holiday.

If you do not work fixed or regular hours, then your holiday pay will be calculated by looking at the average pay you received over the previous 52 weeks. If you did not work for some of those weeks, or you only received statutory sick pay, you can go back further to look at weeks when you received your usual pay.

Regular overtime, commission and bonuses should also be included in a minimum of four weeks of your holiday pay. It does not have to be added to the additional 1.6 weeks, because different laws govern holiday in excess of 4 weeks.

Your employer should not spread your holiday pay throughout the year, adding it to your normal pay rate. This is referred to as rolled-up holiday pay and is not lawful. Instead, you should be paid for your holiday entitlement at the time you take it.

What happens if you have no contract of employment? Employees will have statutory rights, which any contract of employment has to comply with.

Holiday rights when on maternity leave

Holiday entitlement accrues as normal when you are on maternity leave. This also applies to paternity, adoption and shared parental leave. If you do not take your holiday, then you can carry over up to 5.6 weeks of leave to the following holiday year.

Contact us

At Springhouse Employment Solicitors we deal only with employment law meaning we have genuine expertise across all employment issues. We can advise you in respect of your rights regarding working time as well as your holiday entitlement, to include the amount of holiday you are owed and the pay you should receive.

Contact us for an initial chat with our helpful team.