FAQs on annual leave

Are all workers entitled to annual leave?

Annual leave is often known as holiday leave. Most workers are entitled to annual leave. The standard minimum entitlement is 5.6 weeks paid annual leave for full-time employees and the pro-rata equivalent for part-time workers. This figure can include public holidays and bank holidays. Casual employees can also accrue annual leave, which is usually worked out on an hourly basis. You should be paid your normal pay for the period of your annual leave.

Can you contract into different entitlements?

The law sets out the minimum entitlements of employees to annual leave, but it is possible for the employer and employee to agree to different terms and put those terms into the employment contract. The agreed terms must not provide less than what the employee is entitled to under the law.

Can your employer dictate when you take annual leave?

An employer can set out rules for when and how employees can take annual leave. Usually an employer is entitled to request that employees do not take holidays over the peak periods of business. Employers may also require employees to take holidays over a certain period, such as a Christmas shutdown.

Do you have to give notice?

Usually, you will be required to give your employer a set period of notice. The law says that you should provide twice as much notice as the length of the holiday you wish to take. Similarly, if your employer refuses your request they should give you as much notice as the length of the holiday.

What other rights apply?

Other things to know about annual leave include the fact that you start building up annual leave as soon as you start a job and, when you finish a job, you should be paid for any annual leave you have not yet taken. Your entitlement to holiday leave continues throughout any additional leave such as maternity or paternity leave and adoption leave.

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