Checking holiday entitlement

How much holiday you should get

You have the right to paid holiday (‘statutory annual leave’) whether you work:

  • full time
  • part time
  • under a zero-hours contract

The amount of days you get depends on:

  • how many days or hours you work
  • any extra agreements you have with your employer

You build up (‘accrue’) holiday from the day you start working, including when you're on:

  • a probationary period
  • sick leave
  • maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave

Your employer can choose to give you more holiday than the statutory entitlement. Your contract's written document should say how much holiday you get.

Statutory annual leave

Full time

If you work full time for 5 (or more) days a week, you’re entitled to at least 5.6 weeks' (28 days') paid holiday (statutory annual leave) a year.

Your 5.6 weeks’ legal minimum holiday is usually made up of:
20 days = 4 weeks
+ 8 days (which can be the year's bank holidays) = 1.6 weeks

Your 5.6 weeks’ statutory annual leave entitlement might include bank holidays, depending on your contract.

Part time

If you work part time, you’re entitled to at least 5.6 weeks' paid holiday in proportion to the hours you worked ('pro rata').

You can work this out by the number of days you work a week x 5.6.

For example, if you work 3 days a week, you’re entitled to 16.8 days’ paid holiday (3 x 5.6) a year.

If your employer gives full-time employees more than the statutory annual leave (for example, 6 weeks), then part-time employees must get the same, calculated pro rata.

Shift, term-time and zero-hours workers

You must still get 5.6 weeks' holiday as a minimum if you work irregular hours, such as:

  • shifts
  • term-time work
  • zero-hours contracts

If you’re self-employed (run your own business), you’re not usually entitled to paid holiday but it could depend if you’ve been employed on a contract. It’s a good idea to check your employment status to see what your entitlement is.

Maternity leave 

You still accrue holiday while on:

  • maternity leave
  • paternity leave
  • adoption leave
  • shared parental leave

For example, if you take a year of maternity leave, you'll return with a whole year’s accrued holiday. Your employer might let you take some of this before you go on leave.

If you’re not sure how much holiday you should get

If you’re still not sure what your holiday entitlement is, you can:

  • talk with your manager, someone in HR or your employer
  • check your employment contract’s written document
  • get legal advice, for example from Citizens Advice or your trade union
Checking holiday entitlement

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