This section provides general information on employment law. If you have specific questions, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer or trade union.
WorkLine offers advice on the website, through a confidential phone number or email. The service is sponsored by the UK Film Council and Women in Film and Television, and supported by Goodman Derrick LLP (Employment Lawyers).
The information in this section of the Diversity Toolkit has been compiled by Croner, an organisation providing information, advice and support in the areas of employment, health and safety and environmental compliance.
The Working Time Regulations 1998 give workers a right to paid annual holiday. The only exceptions are those working in sectors totally excluded from the scope of the regulations. As well as statutory annual holidays, many employees are entitled to holidays and holiday pay under the terms of their contracts of employment.
Entitlement to Holidays and Holiday Pay
Every worker in the UK (full-time, part-time, temporary, seasonal or casual) has a statutory right to 5.6 weeks' paid annual holiday (pro rata for part-time workers). The only exceptions are those working in sectors totally excluded from the scope of the regulations. This includes people who are self-employed, trainee doctors, those employed in transport, work at sea, the armed forces, the police and other civil protection services.
Questions and Answers
Can workers demand to be allowed to take holiday and to be paid for it?
Workers can demand to be allowed to take 5.6 weeks' holiday in each leave year and to be paid for it. During their first year of employment workers accrue their entitlement to paid holidays monthly in advance. Workers may also rely on either express or implied terms of their contract of employment in order to be entitled to holiday over and above the statutory minimum, with or without pay.
Are employees entitled to receive pay in lieu of holiday if they leave without giving the required notice or if they are dismissed for gross misconduct?
Yes, but only in respect of the statutory entitlement. A clause in the contract of employment would operate legitimately in respect of any contractual leave outstanding at the date of termination. This might read: "An employee who leaves without giving the required notice or who is dismissed for gross misconduct will not be entitled to receive accrued holiday pay for that portion of their leave which is in excess of the statutory minimum".
Is an employee who is on extended sick leave entitled to holidays?
Recent case law has indicated that employees who are on long-term sick leave continue to accrue statutory annual leave. This means that absentee employees have the right to be paid money in lieu of those holidays, even if confined to bed or hospitalised for the whole or major part of the relevant holiday year.
All employees have a statutory right to 5.6 weeks' paid holiday a year.
Employees do not have an automatic right to a day off in respect of bank or public holidays.