Employers are reminded that the Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2007 increase the statutory minimum annual holiday entitlement from 4 weeks (20 days for those working a 5 day week) to 4.8 weeks (24 days) as from 1 October 2007.
As this is a change in terms of employment to the benefit of employees, employers do not need to reissue contracts of employment. However, staff must be informed in writing of the increased holiday entitlement, either by letter or a statement on their pay slips.
Employees do not have to work for a qualifying period in order to be entitled to the extra days. Paid time off does not have to be given for bank and public holidays but, if it is, employers can include this in the holiday entitlement. A list of the expected bank and public holidays for the years 2007 to 2010 can be found on the website of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
Part-time workers must receive annual leave equal to 4.8 times their usual working week, regardless of what days of the week they normally work.
From 1 April 2009, all workers, including those working part-time, will be entitled to 5.6 times their usual working week – capped at a maximum of 28 days.
Employers who already meet the full requirements of the Regulations as at 1 October 2007 (giving the equivalent of 28 days’ holiday, without payment in lieu and where any carryover of the extra 1.6 weeks’ leave is only to the following year) are regarded as being outside of the Regulations, as long as they continue to meet those requirements.
Increases must be calculated proportionally, depending on when your holiday year starts. Partial days can be rounded up to the nearest full day but they can be left as they are. You cannot round down a partial day.
Employees can, with the agreement of their employer, carry over some or all of the additional holiday to the following year.
You must include the additional holiday when calculating average weekly working hours.
As a transitional measure, payment in lieu of the additional holiday entitlement introduced on 1 October 2007 will be allowed to continue until 1 April 2009. This is a temporary measure intended to help employers implement the new arrangements. From 1 April 2009, payment in lieu cannot be given for any leave less than the 5.6 weeks statutory minimum.