Under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (as amended), employees are entitled to paid annual leave of 5.6 weeks (28 days if the employee works five days a week which can include bank holidays). Under the Regulations, annual leave may not be replaced by payment in lieu, except upon termination.
Employees should be allowed to choose when they take some of their leave although employers do often implement certain conditions, such as the number of employees who can be on leave at the same time or the amount of leave which can be taken in a block. It is important to have a company policy and clear procedure for requesting annual leave including the notice period required.
First year of employment
Workers accrue their annual leave entitlement on a pro rata basis during their first year of employment. This is calculated in relation to the proportion of the employment year worked.
Annual leave during maternity and adoption leave
An employee continues to accrue their annual leave entitlement through maternity and adoption leave.
Sickness during annual leave
Employees who are provided with the minimum annual leave (5.6 weeks per year for full time employees) are entitled to reclassify annual leave as sick leave. This means that they are entitled to take the annual leave they have missed at a later date. If they are unable to take the rest of their leave that holiday year they can carry it over to the next holiday year.
If you are an employer looking for more detailed advice on annual leave entitlement in the UK, please contact us.