Holiday pay

Workers are entitled to a week’s pay for each week of statutory leave that they take.

Most workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year. You can use the holiday calculator to work out how much leave someone should get.

A week’s pay is worked out according to the kind of hours someone works and how they’re paid for the hours. This includes full-time, part-time, term-time and casual workers.

Working pattern How a week’s pay is calculated
Fixed hours and fixed pay (full- or part-time) A worker’s pay for a week
Shift work with fixed hours (full- or part-time) The average number of weekly fixed hours a worker has worked in the previous 52 weeks, at their average hourly rate
No fixed hours (casual work, including zero-hours contracts) A worker’s average pay from the previous 52 weeks (only counting weeks in which they were paid)

Calculating average hourly or weekly rate

To calculate average hourly rate, only the hours worked and how much was paid for them should be counted. Take the average rate over the last 52 weeks.

A ‘week’ usually runs from Sunday to Saturday. Only use another 7-day period (like Thursday to Wednesday) if that’s how a worker’s pay is calculated.

If no pay was paid in any week, count back another week so the rate is based on 52 weeks in which pay was paid. You can count back a maximum of 104 weeks to find these.  

If a worker has less than 52 weeks of pay, use the average pay rate for the full weeks they have worked.

Workers who are paid monthly

To work out a week’s pay for someone who’s paid monthly:

  1. Calculate the worker’s average hourly pay for the last month. Do this by dividing the month’s pay by the number of hours worked in the month.

  2. Calculate the weekly pay. Do this by multiplying the average hourly pay by the number of hours worked in a week.

Use the weekly pay calculation for each of the last 52 weeks to work out an average week’s pay.

Rolled-up holiday pay

Holiday pay should be paid for the time when annual leave is taken. An employer cannot include an amount for holiday pay in the hourly rate (known as ‘rolled-up holiday pay’).

If a current contract still includes rolled-up pay, it needs to be re-negotiated.

More information

There’s guidance for calculating holiday pay for workers without fixed hours or pay, which includes several examples.

You can also contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) with questions about general holiday pay issues.

Acas
Telephone: 0300 123 11 00
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 1100
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
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