Covid holiday entitlements

In the coronavirus pandemic, it is easy to imagine why the situation for holidays has become muddied. Furlough, working from home and shielding have all changed the way in which we all view the work we have to do.

All workers, whether they are on a full-time, part-time or zero-hours contract are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday per annum. The only kinds of workers who are not, are those who are genuinely self-employed, or freelance.

Importantly, workers have the same holiday entitlements on any kind of statutory leave, be it sick leave, parental leave, or gardening leave. In practice, this means that if an employee is already on sick leave, it must not be deducted from their annual holiday leave.

How does this relate to furlough?

If a worker has been put on furlough, they will still accrue holiday at the same rate that they would normally. This means employees can receive annual leave while on furlough, and take their holidays after returning to work.

These workers are able to take holiday without any change or disruption to their furlough. Employers can require workers to take annual leave while on furlough, but they should explain their reasons for doing so beforehand.

If the employer has demanded that the worker take their annual leave while on furlough, they have to consider whether they will be able to rest, enjoy leisure time and generally have a holiday, under the present restrictions.

Bank holidays

If a bank holiday falls inside a worker’s period of furlough, and they would normally take it as a holiday, they would have two options.

  1. They would take the bank holiday as annual leave, and so the worker would receive their holiday pay for that particular day.
  2. They would defer the bank holiday, and the annual leave will be taken on another day later in the year.

Calculating holiday pay

When a worker does regular hours and pay, their holiday pay is calculated as an average of the 52 week year, excluding unpaid weeks. If an employee on furlough claimed annual leave, the employer must calculate and remunerate them in accordance with the current laws.

This holiday calculator is a useful source for working out how much you owe.

At Aston Black Accountants, we are very good at keeping on top of the legislation, as it comes. We are always happy to offer support and advice to business owners.

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