1. Entitlement

Almost all workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year (known as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave). An employer can include bank holidays as part of statutory annual leave.

Self-employed workers aren’t entitled to annual leave.

Working 5 days a week

Most workers who work a 5-day week must receive 28 days’ paid annual leave per year. This is calculated by multiplying a normal week (5 days) by the annual entitlement of 5.6 weeks.

Working part-time

Part-time workers are also entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid holiday each year, although this may amount to fewer actual days of paid holiday than a full-time worker would get.

Example
A worker works 3 days a week. Their leave is calculated by multiplying 3 by 5.6, which comes to 16.8 days of annual paid leave.

Irregular hours

People working irregular hours - eg shift work - need to calculate their leave entitlement for irregular hours.

Limits on statutory leave

Statutory paid holiday entitlement is limited to 28 days. Staff working 6 days a week are only entitled to 28 days’ paid holiday and not 33.6 days (5.6 multiplied by 6).

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 don’t 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.

Use the statutory leave calculator to work out a worker’s leave.

Other aspects of holiday entitlement

Workers have the right to:

  • get paid for leave
  • build up (‘accrue’) holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity and adoption leave
  • build up holiday entitlement while off work sick
  • choose to take holiday at the same time as sick leave

Disputes

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

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