Bank holidays and maternity leave: ask the expert

My employer closes down between Xmas and New Year and I’ve been told I need to set aside my holiday for this. As I will already be on maternity leave would I need to do this? I also work part time so am only compensated for some bank holidays. I have been told I will be deducted the first 2010 bank holiday that month. Is that correct?

During Maternity Leave, an employee builds up her entitlement to accrue statutory holiday. Most employees take the accrued holiday either before or after their maternity leave. So you cannot use holiday up just because it is the Xmas period and the rest of the firm is shut.
Similarly, for the 1st January 2010 which is a bank holiday, if you are on maternity leave you cannot take this as a day’s holiday. In terms of deducting payment from you for it, it depends what the arrangements are in your company for part time workers relating to bank holidays since there is no one way to calculate it.
Legally, part-timers should not be treated less favourably than comparable full-timers in their entitlement to public/bank holidays. Allowing full-timers the day off, but not part-timers, is clearly less favourable treatment and unlawful.  So, a common approach is to give all workers a pro rata entitlement of days off in lieu according to the number of hours they work. So, say, if you worked 4 days per week, you would get 4/5 of the 8 bank holidays. This is then added to your annual leave and all bank holidays are taken from this allowance. For example, if you had a basic holiday entitlement of 20 days you would add 4/5 of 8 bank holidays = 6.4 days (round to 6.5). This makes a total holiday entitlement of 26.5 days, including bank holidays. Any bank holidays that fall on your normal days of work have to be ‘booked’ from your 20 day entitlement.
There is no one “formula” for this, as long as employers are treating full time and part time employees consistently and fairly. Many employers will have a policy laid down for this or there may be a reference to it in your contract of employment so I would suggest that you check these documents and then have a discussion with your employer. It might also be worth checking with other part time people in your company what the process has been for them on bank holidays.
I hope this helps – without more detailed information to your specific work pattern I cannot give a more detailed answer.
Good luck!
Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this answer, WorkingMums cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *