All employees in the UK are entitled by law to 5.6 weeks holiday per year. For a full-time employee that is 28 paid days off per year, of which 4 weeks is standard leave and 1.6 (or 160% of the working week) is the bank holidays.

All employees in the UK are entitled by law to 5.6 weeks holiday per year. For a full-time employee that is 28 paid days off per year, of which 4 weeks (20 days) is standard leave and 1.6 weeks (8 days) is all 8 of the bank holidays.

If you work part-time and wish to calculate your pro rata holiday entitlement, you simply multiply the number of days you work per week by 5.6. So, for example if you work 3 days per week, you would multiply 3 by 5.6 which means you are entitled to a total of 16.8 days per year.

In addition to holiday entitlement, the Working Time Regulations, the UK interpretation of the European Working Time Directive, also grants all employees the following statutory rights:

  • Rest breaks
  • Domestic employees are however exempt from the measures concerning working hours

information for domestic workers

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

When your employee is off sick for longer than three days you have the responsibility as their employer to administer Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) on their behalf. The first three consecutive days (excluding days not normally worked) of illness are known as 'waiting days' and any payment during this period is at your discretion. From the fourth consecutive day SSP can be paid instead of, or as a part of the normal rate of pay. Please refer to our Rates and Thresholds page for details of the current SSP rate.

Changes to the law from 6 April 2014

From the start of the tax year 2014/15, The Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS) which allowed, in certain circumstances, employers to recover SSP has been abolished. Employers will no longer be to reclaim SSP although recovery of unclaimed SSP for previous tax years may be possible for a limited period. In replacement of the PTS, the government have announced they will be moving the funding into a new scheme as part of the cross-government Health, Work and Wellbeing Initiative. Under this new scheme, which is expected to launch in 2015, help will be made available to employees who have been incapacitated for four weeks or more, to get them back to work.

Introducing an incentive

Incentives are not a legal requirement but because many employers are dependent on their employees coming to work an increasing number now offer an incentive instead. An incentive can be a Friday afternoon off, a voucher or a meal at a local restaurant. If you decide to offer an incentive make sure you include the terms in the employment contract.