Holiday Entitlement for flexible workers

It can be complicated working out holiday entitlement if you don’t work standard full-time hours.

Holiday entitlement


Part Time Work

For part-timers who work, say, two or three full days a week holiday entitlement is fairly straightforward. You are entitled to a pro-rata of whatever full timers at your organisation get, so, for example, if you work two full days a week you would get two fifths of whatever full timers at your organisation get, including bank holidays – irrespective of which days you work.

Compressed hours

If you work compressed hours you should calculate their holiday in terms of hours worked so if you work the same amount of hours as full-time workers you should get the same number of hours in holiday [rather than days], including bank holidays. For each day’s holiday you would need to deduct the number of hours you normally work in that day.

Term time or annualised hours

The best way to work out holiday entitlement is to calculate hours worked annually and to pro rata this based on full-time workers’ annual hours, including bank holidays.

Shift workers

If shifts are the same weekly you can work this out based on a pro rata of full-time workers’ holidays. If shift patterns vary, you will need to work this out over a longer period, according to the established repeating pattern.

Shorter days

If you work a fraction of a day you would need to work out your holiday in terms of hours worked in a week and pro rata this compared to what a full-time worker in your organisation works. You would get a pro rata of bank holidays too.

Casual workers

If you work on a casual basis or work very irregular hours, your holiday entitlement should be worked out in hours. If full timers in the organisation get the statutory minimum of 28 days holiday that equates to 12.07 per cent of hours worked over a year.

Zero hours

If you are on a zero hours contracts, holiday entitlement accrues in the same way as for those on permanent contracts. However, due to the sometimes irregular nature of hours, it is often easier to calculate it based on hours worked.

The minimum holiday entitlement for full timers is 28 days which may include bank holidays. Bank holidays do not have to be given as extra, but if they are given as extra to full timers any flexible workers are entitled to a pro-rata of what full timers get.

The Government has an online calculator where you can calculate your entitlement based on the minimum holiday entitlement.

Comments [18]

  • Vicky Thomas says:

    I will be changing my working hours and doing 2 longer days (additional 3.5 hours a week) but been told my annual leave stays the same at 11 days a year as I’m not doing any additional days – is that correct?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      This is complicated because it could be correct if you take full weeks off or if you only work two days, but I am presuming you work two longer days and some shorter days. It would be easier to calculate your holiday in hours and then deduct the hours that you would have had to work on the days you are off.

      • Mrs Laura Johnson says:

        Hi Mandy. I was working 22.5 hours a week all year round, this has now changed to working 30 hours a week term time only (not in a school or education setting). I am still working the same amount of hours per year as I was previously, but this is just condensed now. Please can you tell me if I would still receive my holiday as normal? As I’m working the same hours a day receiving the same pay. Although I would have the school holidays off now, this is in theory just a build up of all my Fridays I would have had off throughout the year previously. Thank you

  • Sarah Lai says:

    Hello there,
    My contract states that my working hours is minimum 20 hours per week. I started this job from 1st , September 2020. Company told me i’m entitled 37.5 hours annual leave holiday.(Based on i work 20 hours per week) But sometimes i work more than that, i worked 109 hours this month. I don’t know if my annual leave holiday should be increased base on pro rata method and how to calculate it. Really appreciate if can get any suggestion. Thank you

  • Natalie Hubbard says:

    I am a flexi worker who has just been told that instead of being paid holiday when I take it I am to be paid monthly on any holidays accrued during that time, is this process correct?

  • Pam says:

    My contract is 327 hours per year but I currently work rolling shifts six on and four off. It averages about 37 hours per week and includes weekends and bank holidays.

    Until now we have been paid 28 days annual leave per year based on the number of hours worked over the three months prior to the leave. We are now being told that we are only entitled to 24 days leave per annum but we have not been told how the daily rate will be calculated. If they are still going to pay annual leave on hours worked over a period then 28 days is still the legal minimum isn’t it?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi, they should explain the rationale behind any change to terms and conditions and consult with you to get your agreement. The legal minimum for annual leave is 28 days for full-time workers which may or may not include bank holidays. Bank holidays do not need to be given as extra.

  • Dora says:

    I’m working 16 hours a week (8 hour shifts on Tuesday and Wednesday) after coming back from maternity on flexible hours. My contract is still set for 45 hours but we had a verbal agreement with the owner that I can come back on flexible hours for the first 6 months. I’m trying to calculate the holidays I have accrued and will be accruing by the end of the financial year, because I’m pregnant again and I need to know how many I’m entitled to claim before I start my maternity leave again. I went back to work on September 17th and am entitled to start my mat leave on the 29th of December.
    I would appreciate the help, thank you in advance.

    • Mandy Garner says:

      You would have to check with your employer. Are you on a gradual return and being paid full time or are you only being paid for the hours you do? If the latter, you would have your holidays pro-rata’d from your return. I am assuming you will still be on these hours when you go on maternity leave. So, if you do two fifths of your normal hours you would accrue two fifths of your holidays from when you started these new hours. You continue to accrue annual leave on maternity leave so, if you switched your hours only from when you returned, you would have accrued regular leave for the earlier part of the year. If your leave runs from December to December and you were on maternity leave for six months of the year before your hours changed and you were entitled to 28 days leave in total for a year you would have accrued 14 days on maternity leave and just over five and a half in the final six months. It would depend on when you changed your hours and the terms of that temporary agreement, however.

  • Mark Hanslip says:


    I am contracted to work 17 hours per week. Four on a Wed, five on Sat and eight on Sundays. I currently get 11 days annual holiday. I intend to accept overtime going forward which should increase my weekly hours worked up to 30 per week. Will my holiday entitlement increase to reflect this?

  • Megan says:

    Hello there. I work full time hours – 37 hours a week- but work two long days- 8-6 on Monday and Friday and shorter days Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday- 6 hours. This is because of childcare- and can only arrange childcare on Monday and Friday’s – and can finish work early on shorter days to pick up kids from School. I used to get my holiday entitlement in hours- as well as Bank holidays ( 7.24 a day) In school holidays due to not having childcare I tend to take shorter days off. However been told that I am not allowed to do this and that I am under an unfair advantage and that I should take more Monday’s and Friday’s off. Due to not having childcare on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays I am really struggling as will now need to take unpaid leave although I have hours to take. Are they allowed to ask me to do this? Thanks

  • Susan says:

    Hi l currently work Thursday and Friday’s and get 11.2 days annual leave.
    Should the .2 be rounded up to .5?
    In relation to bank holidays how should this work with my leave should l get these as leave?

    • Mandy Garner says:

      Hi Susan,
      Your holidays would be based on a pro rata of whatever full timers get in your organisation. If they get the minimum of 28 days, including bank holidays, and you work two full days [and full timers work five] you would get two fifths of what they get. This could be worked out in hours – which might be equivalent to 11.2 days. You can calculate your entitlement in hours based on full timers getting 28 days here –
      If bank holidays are given as extra in your organisation, you would get a pro rata of these, whatever days you work, but bank holidays do not have to be given as additional. It would depend on what full timers in your organisation get.

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