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Bank Holiday Entitlement for Part-Time Workers: How to Calculate

13 February 2017


There are more than eight and a half million people who work part-time in the UK. If you have part-time workers, or are considering taking one on, then you need to ensure that they benefit from bank holiday leave, even if they wouldn’t normally work on bank holidays. 

It can be difficult to ensure parity between your full-time and part-time workers, but it is also a legal requirement. So, here’s some advice to ensure you don’t disadvantage your part-time workers.

For all employees, minimum statutory holiday entitlement is calculated by multiplying the number of days worked per week by a factor of 5.6. The result – which is capped at 28 days – is the number of days of annual leave that the worker is statutorily entitled to receive. You’re not obliged to give bank holidays as paid leave, but many companies do choose to include them as part of the annual leave entitlement.

For part-time annual leave, the same 5.6 factor is used. So someone working two days per week is entitled to 11.2 days’ holiday and someone working three days per week would receive 16.8. Of course, a part of a day is difficult to take as holiday, so part days should be rounded up, not down.

What happens when bank holidays come into the equation?

Most of the UK’s bank holidays fall on a Monday or Friday. In companies that give paid bank holidays, and where part-time employees don’t usually work on these days, those part-time employees would end up receiving proportionately fewer days’ leave than their full-time colleagues.

To prevent this inequality, many companies give their part-time employees a pro-rated bank holiday allowance. This is calculated based on the number of hours worked, regardless of the days that are worked and irrespective of whether or not they would be bank holidays. 

Let’s take an example of a company where the full-time employees get eight bank holidays, there are usually 8 bank holidays per year in England and Wales, as paid leave on top of their normal allowance. They work five days a week for a total of 40 hours, so are effectively receiving 64 hours of bank holiday leave (8 days x 8 hours = 64 hours).

To pro-rate this for a part-time employee working two days a week, the company would give 25.6 hours of bank holiday leave. That’s calculated as: 16 hours worked per week / 40 hours maximum working time per week x 64 hours of bank holiday leave. 

This bank holiday entitlement for part-time workers calculator breaks it down step by step for you into a formula:

(number of hours worked per week / number of hours in a full-time week) x (number of bank holidays x hours per working day)

This does cause minor issues in that you may end up with part-time employees working parts of days. In the example above, the 25.6 hours would be rounded up to 26 hours, which for an eight hour day is three and a quarter days. Taking a quarter-day holiday – or two hours in this case – is sometimes difficult for a company to administer. 

If the part-time worker is due to work on a bank holiday, then they would need to book it as holiday as normal and it would come out of their total holiday entitlement.

You don’t need to follow this method to calculate bank holiday for your part-time workers. But this is the method that many companies adopt to ensure they are consistent and fair and that both their part-time and full-time workers are treated equally.

Part-time holiday calculator


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