I work 30 hours (4 days) per week as an administrator for the NHS so my workplace is open seven days a week. I have to be available to work Bank Holidays and weekends on a roster system which our Team Leader decides. I used to work one in three weekends and most of the Bank holidays but now, due to cutbacks, I only work one in six weekends and maybe just one Bank holiday. My query is: if I am not rostered to work a Bank Holiday do I have to take this as an annual leave day? At the moment I am being told that I have to use my annual leave when rostered off on a Bank Holiday and cannot have this as my day off – is this the case?. I am very confused as to what I can and cannot do. I would prefer to either work the Bank Holiday or have this rostered as my day off instead of taking this from my annual leave.
I understand that you work part time (30 hours / 4 days a week) and you have to be available to work weekends and public holidays if you are put on the rota. You have been told by your employer that where you are not on the rota to work a bank public holiday, you must take this as Annual Leave rather than have it as your day off.
Statutory Annual Leave Entitlement for full time workers increased to 4.8 weeks on 1 October 2007 and to 5.6 weeks on 1 April 2009. It is widely reported that this was done to address the fact that there was no entitlement to public holidays under the Working Time Regulations, and many employers were counting the eight public holidays as part of the then four-week annual leave entitlement.
Despite the increases there is still no statutory right to time off (whether paid or otherwise) on a public holiday.
Whether you can be required to work on a public holiday is a matter for the contract. In many industries or occupations working on public holidays is a commercial or operational necessity. As you have stated, you are required, presumably under your contract, to be available to work public holidays.
As a part-time worker you are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ annual leave in the same way as any other worker. The Regulations do not specifically define what is meant by a week’s leave, but in practice a week’s leave involves a worker being away from work for a week. So, a week’s leave for a full-time worker will be five days, and as you work four days, a week will be four days. Viewing the entitlement in terms of the number of days (rather than weeks), you have a pro rata equivalent amount of annual leave to a full-time worker.
Employers who only give part-time workers paid time off for public and bank holidays that fall on days on which they would normally work may be in breach of the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000, because part-time workers who do not normally work on Mondays, or those whose working days are variable, will be treated less favourably than comparable full-time workers.
The simplest way to achieve equality, as recommended by the BIS guidance, is to give part-time workers a pro rata entitlement to public holidays regardless of whether they normally work on days on which those holidays fall, and to monitor the days on which they work.
Essentially, if you are available to work on a public holiday and it is your employer who has not put you on the rota, you should not be forced to take the day as annual leave, subject to any conditions in your contract. If you would like more specific advice please forward me a copy of your employment contract to .