How do you calculate annual leave entitlements for part-time staff?

04 September 2011
How do you calculate annual leave entitlements for part-time staff?

Annual leave entitlements describe the amount of paid time off that you should give employees each year for holidays.

There are two key areas of law which govern this area:


  • First, there is a minimum amount of paid annual leave which all staff must receive. By law, this is 28 days for full-time staff (paid time off for bank holidays may be included in this). Part-time staff will be entitled to a proportionate amount of whatever full-time staff receive, depending on how many hours they work. 


  • Second, part-time staff should not receive less favourable treatment than full-time staff. In terms of annual leave, this means that a part-time worker should receive a proportionate amount of what full-time staff receive. For example, if all full-time employees receive paid time off for bank holidays, then it is important that part-time employees do not receive proportionately less time off for bank holidays because of the days that they work in the office. 

The easiest way to ensure your annual leave entitlements are fair, is to add together full-time staff’s (i) paid annual leave entitlement (ii) any bank holidays that staff receive as paid time off (iii) any paid days that the office is closed (for example between Christmas and New Year). All going well, this total is more than 28 days, as required by law.

To ensure that part-time staff are receiving proportionately the same amount of paid time-off for annual leave, you need to work out:


  • How much of a full-time person is this worker? For example if a full-time working week is 40 hours, then someone who works 20 hours per week works half full-time hours (sometimes expressed 0.5 FTE or half of a Full-Time Equivalent). Therefore they should also receive half of the annual leave entitlement of a full-time person.


  • How do you calculate the part-time worker’s holiday entitlement? Take the total number of paid days off that the full-time employee receives each year. If your full-time staff receive 30 paid days off work each year (including bank holidays and office closures); then someone who is 0.5 FTE is entitled to 15 days paid time off each year: 30 days x 0.5 FTE = 15 days. Don’t forget that you’ll need to deduct from this figure any bank holidays or office closures which you expect all staff to take off work (and that this person works). Then you’re left with this part-time worker’s actual annual leave entitlement.

Please note that HRBird by its very nature offers general information. If you're looking for advice specific to your situation, speak to an HR professional or solicitor.
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