The minimum paid annual holiday leave entitlement under the EU Working Time Directive is 20 days (four weeks). However, under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR), full-time workers in the UK are entitled to 28 days’ (5.6 weeks’) paid annual leave. This can include bank holidays, of which there are usually eight per year.
However, because Easter is a ‘moveable feast’, in the 12 months that run from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 there are only seven bank holidays. This is because Good Friday falls on 30 March in 2018 and on 19 April in 2019.
Employers whose holiday year runs from April to March are advised to check employees‘ contracts of employment to make sure the wording is not in breach of the WTR. This could occur if the contract states that the employee’s paid annual leave entitlement is 20 days plus bank holidays, as the total for the year in question would be less than the 28-day statutory minimum. A contract which states that the employee is entitled to 28 days including bank holidays will not be in breach of the WTR.
For advice on agreeing variations to employees’ contract terms, please contact Jonathan Leach, Director and Head of Employment Department on 01254 67 22 22 or complete our online enquiry form discuss your concerns with one of our team of expert advisors.