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 [6]

  • 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

      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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