You need to have clear rules around holidays; including how holidays are requested and authorised, if any holiday is allocated (e.g. bank holidays, Christmas shutdown etc) and rules around carrying forward holiday etc. Our guidance recommends rules for each of these and many other areas.
You also need to be clear about holiday pay. This needs to take into consideration any 'regular' payments an employee is paid, for example, regular overtime.
Calculating holidays for full time workers is quite straightforward. But how do you calculate holiday for part time staff, or those with no fixed contracted hours, or those working on shift patterns? Our guidance on calculating holiday will take you through different situations step-by-step.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. Employees cannot be forced to take holiday while they are sick and this includes where they become ill during a holiday. This means that employees who are sick during holiday leave are entitled to ask their employer to reschedule that holiday for an alternative date later in the year. This would mean that the employer would pay employees sick pay rather than holiday pay for the period during which they were ill. If sick pay is limited to SSP you may find that most employees will not report sickness if they would prefer to receive full pay (rather than just SSP). In addition, employees will still need to follow the normal rules for reporting absence, and you could include in your rules on absence that you will require confirmation from a medical practitioner of any sickness during periods of absence (e.g. a Fit Note).
Strictly speaking there is no general ‘right' to time off for religious holidays, but you should be sensitive to the religious requirements of your staff. For example, although you do not need to offer them extra time off above their usual leave entitlement, you should be sympathetic to any requests to use their leave to coincide with religious festivals. You could also offer unpaid leave if this is a viable option, or allow your employee to swap shifts to attend religious festivals. If you have a legitimate business reason for refusing, you should explain this to your employee. If you do not have a good business reason, you could be open to a religious discrimination claim.
Yes. When someone goes on holiday they should receive the same pay as they would have done had they been at work. Therefore if they receive regular overtime or other regular benefits these must be taken into consideration when calculating holiday pay. Please see Holiday Pay.
Case Study - Unauthorised Holiday
This case study looks at situations when holiday in not authorised, but an employee takes the time off anyway! The case study demonstrates that by having the right documentation and procedures in place, a Company can take the most severe action if needed.Read More