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).

This includes:

  • agency workers
  • workers with irregular hours (for example, those on zero-hours contracts)
  • part-year workers (for example, those who work term-time only)

An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave.

Statutory annual leave entitlement

Most workers who work a 5-day week must receive at least 28 days’ paid annual leave a year. This is the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday. 

Working part-time

Part-time workers who work regular hours for the whole year are entitled to at least 5.6 weeks’ 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 × 5.6).

Use the holiday entitlement calculator to work out a part-time worker’s leave.

Working irregular hours or for part of the year

People working irregular hours or part of the year (like term-time workers) are entitled to up to 5.6 weeks statutory leave.

Use the holiday entitlement calculator to get an estimate based on days or hours worked in an average week.

For leave years starting on or after 1 April 2024, people who work irregular hours or for part of the year will build up (‘accrue’) leave differently. This means their entitlement will be 12.07% of the hours they work in a pay period, up to a maximum of 5.6 weeks.

Limits on statutory leave

Statutory paid holiday entitlement is limited to 28 days. For example, staff working 6 days a week are only entitled to 28 days’ paid holiday.

Bank holidays

Bank or public holidays do not have to be given as paid leave.

An employer can choose to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave.

Extra leave

An 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 it.

Other aspects of holiday entitlement

Workers have the right to:

  • get holiday pay
  • build up holiday entitlement during certain types of leave, such as maternity, paternity, or adoption leave
  • build up holiday entitlement while off work sick
  • request holiday at the same time as sick leave


Paid annual leave is a legal right that an employer must provide. If a worker thinks their rights to leave and pay are not being met there are a number of ways to resolve the dispute.