How much holiday you should get
You have the right to paid holiday ('statutory annual leave') whether you work:
- full time
- part time
- under a zero-hours contract
The amount of days you get depends on:
- how many days or hours you work
- any extra agreements you have with your employer
You accrue (build up) holiday from the day you start working, including when you're on:
- a probationary period
- sick leave
- maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave
It might be written in the contract that you get more than statutory holiday entitlement. This can be called 'enhanced' or 'contractual' holiday entitlement.
Statutory paid holiday
By law, you're entitled to 5.6 weeks' statutory paid holiday a year. Bank holidays might be included in this paid holiday – check your contract if you're not sure.
The amount of time off you get depends on your circumstances.
Statutory paid holiday is limited to 28 days. For example, if you work 6 days a week you're still only entitled to 28 days' paid holiday.
If you work part time, you're still entitled to 5.6 weeks' statutory paid holiday, just in proportion to the hours you work. This is because part-time workers cannot be treated less favourably than full-time workers.
If your employer gives full-time employees more paid holiday than the legal minimum (for example, 6 weeks), then part-time employees must get the same.
Shift, term-time and zero-hours workers with ongoing contracts
You must still get 5.6 weeks' paid holiday as a minimum if you work irregular hours with an ongoing employment contract. This can include:
- shift work, for example working a shift pattern of 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off
- term-time work, for example working 39 weeks a year during school term-time but being employed for the whole year
- zero-hours contracts, for example working some weeks but having the contract remain in place in the weeks where no work is carried out
This type of work is sometimes called part-year work.
Your holiday entitlement should not be affected by how many weeks you actually work in a year. This is because the employment contract is in place for the whole year.
If you're employed for less than a year
You're entitled to a proportion of a full year's holiday entitlement if your employment contract:
- lasts for less than a year
- ends part way through a holiday year
Your holiday entitlement will be based on the length of time your employment contract lasted, rather than the number of weeks you actually worked.
If you're self-employed
If you're self-employed, you're not usually entitled to paid holiday. However, this could depend if you've been employed on a contract. If you're getting work through an agency, you might have a different employment status and rights for the duration of the contract.
Holiday that's less than a full day
If your holiday entitlement includes 'part days' — for example, 11.2 days because you work 2 days a week — you'll need to ask your employer how to use the part day.
Employers cannot round down part days. But they also do not have to round them up to the nearest full day, unless they choose to.
For example, you could leave early or come in late to use the part day, if you agree this with your employer.
You can work out how much holiday you should get with the holiday calculator on GOV.UK.
Maternity and other parental leave
You still accrue your holiday entitlement while on:
- maternity leave
- paternity leave
- adoption leave
- shared parental leave
- ordinary parental leave
- parental bereavement leave
When you know you're going to be taking parental leave, you should agree with your employer:
- how much paid holiday you'll accrue before and during your planned parental leave
- when you're going to take your accrued holiday
- how much you can carry over, if appropriate
- if you have contractual holiday entitlement, whether you can get payment in lieu of taking the days that are additional to statutory
If you're not sure how much holiday you should get
If you're still not sure what your holiday entitlement is, you can:
- talk with your manager, someone in HR or your employer
- check your written statement of employment particulars
Contact the Acas helpline
If you have any questions about holiday entitlement, you can contact the Acas helpline.