Will your employees get 30 days minimum this holiday year?

If you operate a non calendar holiday year i.e. April – March then you may need to take some action now to avoid breaching the Working Time Regulations (WTR) in the 2016 – 2017 holiday year.  This issue was caused by Easter being late this year and early next year so it may occur twice in your holiday year and that would mean ten bank holidays in the current year but only six the following year.  If your contracts of employment state you give employees eight bank holidays per year then they could be two short next year.

Under WTR employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days paid holiday per year and it is common for contracts to state 20 days holiday plus bank holidays, making 28 in total. If your holiday year runs from January – December then there is no need to worry as there will always be at least eight bank holidays in a calendar year.  However, this is not the case for holiday years which span two calendar years as five of the bank holiday days fall on different days. 

So if your contract of employments state employees get 28 days holiday inclusive of bank holidays there should be no a problem.  In this case, employees will get ten bank holidays and 18 days annual leave to choose during the current holiday year and six bank holidays and 22 days annual leave in the 2016- 2017 holiday year.  All you need to do is advise employees of the situation so they can plan their holiday accordingly.

However, if your contract states employees are entitled to 20 days plus the bank holidays then employees will get 30 days holiday in the current holiday year but only 26 days next year and that would be in breach of the WTR for the 2016-17 leave year.

So what do you need to do?

The problem of late /early Easters will keep reoccurring every so often and company productivity may be affected in years where there are ten public holidays so you should be looking at a long term solution. You could therefore consider one of the following:-

  1. Consulting with staff about changing the holiday year from a non-calendar to the calendar year of January to December.
  1. Consulting with staff about changing the wording of their contracts of employment so that the 28 days minimum includes the bank holidays
  1. Allow employees to carry over the two extra days they will get during the 2015 – 2016 holiday year in to the following year, so that they will then have the minimum 28 days.

As a word of warning, in case you were thinking you would just reduce employees’ holiday entitlement down from the 30 to 28 in this holiday year – that would be a breach of contract and could end up with you facing a tribunal claim.

If you need some help to decide what to do or with consulting with staff then IN2HR can can help.  Find our details on the business services tab or via the ‘ask the experts’ link.

Contact In2HR http://www.in2hr.co.uk/payroll-services-uk/index.php