Bank holidays and part-time workers: ask the expert

I have worked for my company for 15 years and one from full time (27 days + bank holiday = 35 days holidays) to part time after maternity leave. I work Tues, Weds & Thurs. For the past 3 years I have been taking 16 days holiday (excluding any bank holidays).  They have now said that this is incorrect and to make it fair to everyone they have included bank holidays in my entitlement.  This is how they have worked it out and I have no idea if it is correct: 35 days (basic 20 + 7 days extra for long service + 8 days bank holidays) pro rata is 21 days then they have taken 8 bank holiday from my entitlement, leaving me with 13 free days to book off. I don’t understand if they pro rata the 8 bank holidays into my entitlement to give me 21 days how they can then take a full 8 days from me. On the holiday sheet they have added the bank holidays and marked everyone off as a holiday, giving me 21 days and taking away 8. As most bank holidays fall on Mondays and I don’t work Mondays I have never considered any of this before. I would really love to know if this is correct.

Post-it note saying 'bank holiday weekend'


Calculating & managing pro-rata holiday/bank holiday entitlement is always a tricky one, but some employers do seem to make it more complicated than it has to be! The bottom line is that your minimum statutory entitlement is 5.6 weeks, where a week is however many days or hours your normal working week would be. So if you work 3 days a week, you’re entitled to 5.6 x 3 = 16.8 days. Some employers would calculate your entitlement in hours, some would round it off to 17 days, but that is the minimum.
This includes bank holiday entitlement though, so as long as you take 16.8 days over the year, it shouldn’t matter which days of the week you work or don’t work. To ensure fairness, employers should give you your entitlement as a whole, not separate out the bank holidays & then have those dependent on your days of the week.

As you have additional entitlement from your employer, this should also be pro-rata’d. In total you should get 3/5 of what you would have if you were full-time. So if that would have been 35 days, you are entitled to 21 days overall, to be taken whenever you like – & if one of your working days falls on a bank holiday, then that day comes out of your 21.

It sounds like your employer has effectively ‘pre-booked’ all the bank holidays as days off for you, but that assumes that each one would be one of your working days, which clearly isn’t the case! I expect this is error/ignorance on their part rather than actively being unfair, so I suggest that you just explain the mistake to them so that they can allow you to take your 21 days whenever you want. (The alternative would be for you to have a day off in lieu if a bank holiday is not one of your working days, but that is just a more roundabout way of doing the same thing!).


Comments [9]

  • Charli says:

    I’ve started a new job working 20 hrs a week 4 hrs a day over 5 days a week. I’ve been told my holiday is 17 days including bank holidays pro rata, as full time is 25 days plus bank holidays based on 38 hrs a week. Should it not be 12.5 full days based on an 8ish hours day or 112 hrs a year as it’s confusing

    • Mandy Garner says:

      As you are not working full days it should be worked out in terms of hours. You should get a pro rata of full timers’ hourly holidays. That would mean multiplying the number of hours that 33 full days would represent by 20 and dividing that number by 38. That would give you the total hours you should be able to take in holiday.

  • adrian hawkins says:

    does holiday entitlement accrue during additional maternity leave.
    After 39 weeks unto 1 year

  • Ema says:

    I went on maternity leave May 31st 2015 for a year. I was due to return 31st May 2016 however I felt it was right for me to stay at home with my daughter,so I have resigned from my position.
    I had a letter confirming they had received my resignation and that I will get holiday etc I am owed.
    I had 86 hours owed to me before I went on maternity leave which I was supposed to take before I my leave started but no one knew how to fill the form out so ended up filling it out wrong. However they told me I could receive the 86hours once my maternity was over. I have been trying to research how much pay I should get as they are telling me my holiday accrued is 136 hours which is including the 86hours from last year, but am I right in thinking I should accrue 28days minimum plus 86hours from last year? Please advise me as I don’t seem to get very far researching this.

  • Henry Toniolo says:

    Overtime / Time in lieu

    Hi there! I’m trying to work out how many holiday days I’m entitled as I’ll be working full-time next week. Normaly, I work part-time, from 8am to 1pm, Monday to Friday. Next week I’ll be working 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. I’ve asked to take the overtime as time in lieu but I don’t know how to work out how many days/hours I’ll be entitled to. Could you help me out? Thank you! Henry.

  • Em says:

    Hi, i am writing to enquire sbout snnual leave and holiday pay.
    i worked for a còmpany from 27 july to 30 October. My contra ct states that i have 21 days plus 8 days annual leave and 2 hours obligatory overtime.
    The problem is when calculating the annual leave they deducted 1 day off the total annual leave saying it was a bank holidays.
    my question is shouldn’t the bank holidays already be included in amount of annual leave owed to me as per the contract ?
    Also the calculation did not include the overtime in toil . Has there not been a change in regulation as per june 2015 which states that i am entitled to overtime toil?

  • jocealynn massaline says:

    I’ve been on my job for 16 years. and my manager comes and tells me that I am part time now and I never agreed to this what can I do about this?

  • Kay M urdoch says:

    I work Monday, Tuesday and Thursday each week and full time staff get 25 days plus bank holidays. I know I should get 3/5th = 15 days annual leave but what about bank holidays?

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