Basics of bank holidays entitlements and calculations for employees

The number of days off / Bank holidays one is entitled to, is usually defined in the contract signed between employer and employee. As a general guideline, the legal minimum is set to be 5,6 weeks for a full year, which however may include Bank Holidays. This means that the employer is not bound to give more days than the minimum set by the law.

In this article, we present the essential points an employee needs to know, providing additionally some clarifying examples.

Basic information for employees:

  • you are entitled to annual leave of at least 5.6 weeks (28 days if you work five days per week).

  • those working part-time are entitled to the same level of holiday pro rata, currently this is 5.6 times your usual working week for example. 22.4 days for someone working four days a week. The days off begin to accumulate right after you start at your new job

  • your employer has the right to define when you take your days off.

  • you get paid your normal pay for your holiday day

  • if you left a position without taking your days off, you are entitled to payment for those days regardless of whether they were Bank Holidays or other type of holida

  • maternity and paternity leaves are not included in the minimum amount of days off but are rather considered as extra days off.

Click HERE to check the UK Bank Holidays

ATTENTION! To qualify for the right to annual leave you need to be classed as a worker. If you’re self-employed, you have no statutory right to paid annual leave. 

Another important thing to remember is that the employer can set their own rules regarding days off provided beyond the legal minimum. Therefore, please make sure you read very carefully your employment contract before signing.

If you have worked on a Bank Holiday, you are not entitled to additional payment. The amount you will receive depends mainly based on your contract, not on the type of the day. In any case, your employer is not allowed to pay you less than the legal minimum.

Calculating your days off and holidays

➤ General calculation for full time employment

If you work five days per week, simply multiply the days you work by 5.6:

Example: 5*5.6=28 days off per year

➤ Calculation for part time employment

If you work part time, you still calculate your days off in the same way.

Example: if you worked two days per week: 2*5.6=11.2 days off per year

It is important to remember that you should not be treated differently from full time employees. If your employer gives extra days off to full time employees, then the extra OFF DAYS should be given to part time employees as well.

➤ Calculation for employment on hourly basis

The 5.6 leave is equal to 12.07% of the hours worked. The coefficient 12.07% corresponds to 5.6 weeks divided by 46.4 weeks (52 weeks- 5.6 weeks) multiplied by 100 = 12.07%

Example of the 12.07% rule: If you worked 40 hours per month, the calculation for the leave you are entitled to is: 4.828 hours (12.07/100*40) or 289.68 minutes

➤ Calculation for shift-based employment

If your job is shift-based, your leave is calculated using the average shifts you have done over a 12-week period.

Example: if you always work four 12-hour shifts, followed by four days off, then you are entitled to leave equal to 19.6 shifts per year, or 29.4 days (slightly more than normal leave).

The calculation is: 5.6 weeks x 3.5 shifts = 19.6 shifts of 12 hours or 29.4 days (19,6*12/8)

What to do if your employer does not comply

Holidays are a legal right your employer is obliged to respect. If you believe that your right is breached, speak to your employer. If you have a staff representative or you are member of a union, you can seek their advice and support.

To calculate your days off based on your personal circumstances, please click HERE:

Translated / Edited by, Apostolia Nestoratou.

© 2018 UPECO LTD



This article intends to give only a general informative picture and should not, in any case, be taken as a rule. It is strongly recommended to seek a full and professional guidance specifically for your circumstances before making any decisions.


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