Employees' rights for days off and leave

If you work, you must have the right for paid leave and days off. It does not matter if you are full-time, part-time or a temporary employee. The only exception is individual entrepreneurs.

You can choose when to take a day off or leave, although your employer has the right to limit your choice to a particular time of year or day, for example, if it is an official weekend.

How many days of leave can you take

The number of days of paid leave depends on the number of working days a week (the employer can give more days off, but this remains at his discretion):

If you work 1 day a week, you will get 5.6 days off per year;

If you work 2 days a week, you will get 11.2 days off per year;

If you work 3 days a week, you will get 16.8 days off per year;

If you work 4 days a week, you will get 22.4 days off per year;

If you work 5 days or more a week, you will get 28 days off per year.

If you work irregularly or this is your first year of work, the number of leave days is not easy to calculate. Use this calculator.

In which cases you may not get days off on official holidays

You cannot get a day off on an official holiday if you:

are individual entrepreneur;

serve in the Armed Forces, police or civil defense (for example, in the Coast Guard, fire brigade). In this case, the employer will still provide you with paid leave, as specified in the contract.

Contact the citizens advice bureau if you think that you have been denied leave unlawfully.

In some cases, employers cheat when paying for work on a holiday, explaining to employees that they are individual entrepreneurs, although it is not so in fact. This problem is often faced by temporary workers. Therefore, that is why it is very important to know your working status.

Check your working status

Follow the link to find out what your working status is: an employee or an individual entrepreneur? If it turns out that you are an employee, then you have the right for payment for work on a holiday, as well as on leave, and this issue can be raised in discussion with the employer.

How much you can get

During the leave you must receive the same amount as you receive during work. For example, if you are paid £280 a week, taking a leave, you will also receive £280 per week.

If you receive a bonus in addition to the base rate, you will also be paid a bonus on leave. For example, if you usually get a £150 premium per month, you will be paid £150 above the base rate, even if you were on leave for a week.

If from week to week your salary or working hours are different, the amount you receive will be based on the average salary you received in the past 12 months.

What is ‘rolled-up holiday pay’ (usually refers to temporary workers)

The employer can offer you such a payment option. You will not receive payment for days off. Instead, the employer will pay you extra money above hourly payment. The scheme is called ‘rolled-up holiday pay’. In fact, you save extra money for your work and use them when you want to take a day off.

Although the government and the State Service for Consultation, Reconciliation and Arbitration (ACAS) do not recommend employees to agree to such payment scheme, it is completely legal if the employer does everything right. For example, you cannot be told: "You will receive £8 per hour, and this includes an additional fee for the days off". Instead, the employer should say: "Your base hourly rate is £ 7.20, and you will receive 80 pence for the days off."

In your pay slip, all amounts should also be arranged separately. If this is not done, you should discuss this with the employer. If you decide to seek advice from the civil service bureau, take the last pay slips with you.

If you have problems with payments for days off or leave

It is always better to try to solve the problem directly with the employer. If this is not possible, you can complain to the Employment Tribunal - the body for the reviewing of individual labor disputes. Remember that there is a time limit for the complaint. For example, if you have not been paid for leave, you need to complain within three months. Other types of complaints also have time limits. You can find out the exact terms by contacting the citizens advice office.

Here are the steps you can take.

Step 1: talk to the employer

You can try to solve the problem, just by talking to the employer. Explain to him that you are aware of your working status and the right for paid days off and leave.

Step 2: file a complaint

Find out if your employer has a formal complaint procedure. If there is no such procedure, you can file a complaint simply by writing a letter. Explain why you think you have the right for payment, and why do you think that you have not been paid enough. Attach copies of evidence.

Step 3: contact the State Service for Consultation, Reconciliation and Arbitration

If there is no reaction to the complaint, you can go to the Employment Tribunal. But first, you need to notify the State Service of Consultation, Reconciliation and Arbitration. It is an organization that provides support in resolving labor disputes. Its workers will find out whether your employer agrees to negotiate before the case is transferred to a Employment Tribunal.

The easiest way to initiate this procedure is to fill out the form on the ACAS website or call 0300 123 1122.

Step 4: contact the Employment Tribunal

Your last chance to find justice is the Employment Tribunal (the body that deals with individual labor disputes). Think twice before turning to it, as this is a complex and expensive procedure. And to begin with, consult with a specialist to find out if you have a chance of success. If you decide to contact the local civil consultation office, bring along:

a contract of employment, if any;

any correspondence you had with the employer.

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