Leave Policy in the UK

The vast majority of individuals classified as workers are legally granted a yearly paid holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks, often referred to as statutory leave or annual leave.

This encompasses various categories of workers, including:

  • Agency workers
  • Workers with irregular working hours
  • Workers under zero-hours contracts

Employers have the option to include bank holidays as part of the statutory annual leave.

In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, workers’ entitlement to holiday pay and leave remains unaffected, except with regard to carrying over leave.

Statutory annual leave entitlement

For the majority of workers on a typical 5-day workweek, a minimum of 28 days of paid annual leave is a legal requirement. This translates to 5.6 weeks of annual holiday.

Part-time work

Part-time workers are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid holiday, although this may result in fewer than 28 days.

For instance, if someone works 3 days a week, they should receive at least 16.8 days of annual leave annually (3 × 5.6).

Individuals with irregular hours

Individuals working irregular hours, such as shift workers or those employed during term times, have the right to paid time off corresponding to the hours worked.

For a rough estimation based on the number of days or hours worked in an average week, they can utilize the holiday entitlement calculator.

Limits on statutory leave

Statutory paid holiday entitlement is capped at 28 days. For instance, employees working 6 days a week are still only entitled to 28 days of paid leave.

Bank Holidays

The inclusion of bank or public holidays as paid leave is at the discretion of the employer.

It is possible for an employer to designate bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave.

Additional Leave

Employers can opt to provide more leave than the legal minimum requirement. Extra leave does not need to adhere to all the rules governing statutory leave. For instance, certain conditions may need to be met by the worker before they become eligible for additional leave.

Other Aspects of Holiday Entitlement

Workers possess the following rights:

  • The right to receive holiday pay
  • The ability to accrue holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity, and adoption leave
  • The capacity to accumulate holiday entitlement while on sick leave
  • The option to request holiday leave simultaneously with sick leave

Resolution of Disputes

Paid annual leave is a legal entitlement that employers are obligated to provide. If a worker believes their right to leave and corresponding pay is not being met, there are various mechanisms available to address and resolve such disputes.

Various Types of Leave in the UK

There are numerous forms of leave provided to employees in the United Kingdom, each designed to address distinct situations and needs. These include:

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave is granted to fathers, partners, and secondary adopters, allowing them to take time off work to care for a new baby or child. During this leave, individuals may receive Paternity Pay.

Sick Leave

In situations where employees are ill or physically incapable of working, they are entitled to sick leave. This provides financial support to help cover their absence during times of illness.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave is designed for expectant mothers, providing them with the opportunity to take time off work before and after giving birth. Maternity Pay is often offered during this period.

Neonatal Care Leave

Neonatal care leave is intended for parents with newborns who require intensive care. It permits them to take time off work to support their child’s health and well-being.

Parental Leave

Parental leave enables parents to spend quality time with their children and is often taken as unpaid leave. It is available to both mothers and fathers.

Shared Parental Leave

Shared parental leave allows parents to share and divide their leave following the birth or adoption of a child. This offers flexibility for couples in how they choose to allocate their leave.

Bereavement Leave

Bereavement leave is granted to employees who have experienced the loss of a loved one. It provides time off to grieve and attend to matters related to the bereavement.

Work-Related Injury

In cases where an employee sustains an injury while performing their job, they may be entitled to leave and compensation to aid in their recovery.

Public Holidays in UK

In the United Kingdom, public holidays are commonly referred to as bank holidays. The number of bank holidays varies across the different regions of the UK: England and Wales have eight, Scotland has nine, and Northern Ireland has ten.

Below are the 2023 holiday calendars for England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland:

England & Wales Public Holiday Calendar 2023:

  • 2/1/2023 (Monday) – New Year’s Day
  • 7/4/2023 (Friday) – Good Friday
  • 10/4/2023 (Monday) – Easter Monday
  • 1/5/2023 (Monday) – May Bank Holiday
  • 8/5/2023 (Monday) – King’s Coronation Bank Holiday
  • 29/5/2023 (Monday) – Spring Break Holiday
  • 28/8/2023 (Monday) – Summer Bank Holiday
  • 25/12/2023 (Monday) – Christmas Day
  • 26/12/2023 (Tuesday) – Boxing Day

Scotland 2023 Holiday Calendar:

  • 2/1/2023 (Monday) – New Year’s Day
  • 3/1/2023 (Tuesday) – 2nd January
  • 7/4/2023 (Friday) – Good Friday
  • 1/5/2023 (Monday) – May Bank Holiday
  • 8/5/2023 (Monday) – Coronation of King Charles III
  • 29/5/2023 (Monday) – Late May Bank Holiday
  • 7/8/2023 (Monday) – Summer Bank Holiday
  • 30/11/2023 (Thursday) – Saint Andrew’s Day
  • 25/12/2023 (Monday) – Christmas Day
  • 26/12/2023 (Tuesday) – Boxing Day

Northern Ireland 2023 Holiday Calendar:

  • 2/1/2023 (Monday) – New Year’s Day
  • 17/3/2023 (Friday) – St. Patrick’s Day
  • 7/4/2023 (Friday) – Good Friday
  • 10/4/2023 (Monday) – Easter Monday
  • 1/5/2023 (Monday) – May Bank Holiday
  • 8/5/2023 (Monday) – Coronation of King Charles III
  • 29/5/2023 (Monday) – Late May Bank Holiday
  • 12/7/2023 (Wednesday) – Battle of Boyne
  • 28/8/2023 (Monday) – Summer Bank Holiday
  • 25/12/2023 (Monday) – Christmas Day
  • 26/12/2023 (Tuesday) – Boxing Day
This document was prepared for informational purposes only. As local laws & regulations keeps on changing. Please consult your tax & legal advisors as well.
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