Calculating Holiday for Part-Time workers

#HRFridayact: When calculating holiday taken by part time workers it should applied to what they work based on their normal working week

Calculating holiday entitlement and holiday pay for part time workers can sometimes be a complicated issue to get your head around. To minimise any potential for error, it’s best to calculate it and apply it based upon what the employee works during their normal working week; whether that’s hours or days per week.

All employees have a statutory entitlement to a minimum of 28 days holiday per year including the standard eight UK public holidays. This equates to 5.6 weeks per year. Part time workers are entitled to holiday calculated on a pro-rata basis of the statutory entitlement.

So, an employee who works three days per week is entitled to three fifths of statutory or 16.8 days per year including bank holidays.

Someone who works 20 hours per week is entitled to 112 hours per year.

You must remember to apply any holiday taken based upon the employees working pattern. So, someone who works five hours per day for three days per week and goes on a two week holiday for example, will effectively use up six days or  30 hours of their annual allowance depending on how the holiday is calculated.

For casual workers or those who work irregular hours, it may be easiest to calculate holiday as it accrues for hours worked. Statutory holiday equates to 12.07% of hours worked so for someone who has worked 50 hours say, they have will have accrued 50 x 12.07% = 6 hours 2 minutes holiday. Because of the nature of causal work, where workers aren’t obliged to accept work that is offered, some employers choose to add the 12.07% as they go as additional pay, negating any liability to pay accrued holiday pay on the cessation of work.

Most payroll software will calculate holiday entitlement for you but it’s worth knowing how it’s worked out so you can explain it to employees and included entitlement in their contracts. To minimise the risk of error when calculating holiday, we recommend that you use the Government holiday calculator web page at which covers pretty much all possible scenarios.

For any further help or support with employee holidays or any other HR related matter, call us on 01452 331331 or e-mail

14 July 2017, 09:23