Holiday Pay

Monday 1st April 2019

The Government has launched an advertising campaign clarifying the rights of workers and employees to holiday pay following a poll which found many did not understand their rights. The poll found that 1.8 million people are not receiving the holiday pay they are entitled to, with shift workers, those working on zero-hour contracts and agency workers most likely to me missing out.

Most workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year. How that is calculated will depend on the workers working pattern. Those working full or part time on fixed hours will be entitled to the amount they are normally paid for a week’s work. A full or part time shift worker with fixed hours should be paid the average number of weekly fixed hours, including zero-hour contract workers, should be paid their average pay from previous 12 weeks, only counting weeks in which they were paid.


Employers should ensure that they are calculating rates of holiday pay correctly. Common pitfalls include miscalculating the holiday pay of shift workers by failing to include in the calculation any voluntary overtime which extends over a sufficient period of time on a regular reoccurring basis so as to be considered ‘normal’. Failure to do so could result in claims for breach of contact being brought by workers.