Do You Know What Your Holiday Pay Should Be?


Holidays are a highlight of the year for most people. But did you know there are around 1.8 million workers in the UK missing out on £1.8 billion of unpaid holiday pay every year?

The Government has launched a Holiday Pay campaign to help everyone understand their entitlements to holiday pay. It’s not always easy to work out – especially if you’re working just a few hours every now and again. However, all workers are legally entitled to earn holiday pay for every hour they work, whether they work part time, shifts or even irregular hours.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has produced a list of myth busters surrounding holiday pay. Which of these comes as the biggest surprise to you?

Myth 1:  You have to work at least three months before being entitled to any holiday pay

Wrong. You start to accrue holiday from the day you start a job. For every hour that you work, you are legally entitled to paid time off.

Myth 2: Workers on zero hours contracts don’t qualify for holiday pay

Wrong. Holiday pay comes with your job.  Almost all workers, including atypical workers on zero hours contracts, agency workers and those who are on contracts which mean they work irregular hours, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year.

Myth 3: Only people in permanent jobs get holiday pay

Wrong. Almost all workers, including atypical workers on zero hours contracts, agency workers and those who are on contracts which mean they work irregular hours, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year.

Myth 4: Workers who are also receiving a state or company pension aren’t entitled to holiday pay.

Wrong. You do still get paid time off if you are still in work but on a pension. The employment right does not end when you reach state pension age; it is related to your employment status.

Myth 5: I’ll get in trouble with my employer if I challenge my holiday pay entitlement

Wrong. It is your employer’s legal obligation to ensure you’re receiving the correct amount in holiday pay. Employees also have the right not to suffer any detriment for exercising their right to receive their holiday entitlement.

Calculating workers’ holiday pay rights can be challenging for employers, especially in cases where workers follow an “atypical” working patterns. But that’s why Government has clear guidance on the Gov.uk website and has published some additional information, with the specific aim of helping employers understand their workers’ rights where holiday pay entitlement isn’t so straightforward.

If you think you’re not getting paid the correct holiday pay, speak to your employer.

Myth 6: There isn’t any information available to help me figure out my holiday pay entitlement

Wrong. In addition to the information already available on the Gov.uk website, Government has developed comprehensive online guidance that will specifically help workers with atypical working patterns and their employers to understand their rights.  Find out more on www.gov.uk/holidaypay.

Marion McGivern

As editor of the cookery, money, pets, know how and talking point pages, Marion covers wide a range of regular Features content. Along with the rest of the Team, she enjoys finding interesting features for both the weekly and Special issues that readers will love. Having so much variety every day means that over ten years with the “Friend” has just flown by!