Working out employee holiday is relatively straight-forward, but when you have staff who have joined mid-year or who work part-time it can be a little more complicated and leave you tearing out your hair in frustration.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be so taxing - here at breathe we've put together a handy online calculator so you don’t have to worry about getting it wrong.

What is pro-rata holiday entitlement?

If your employees are full-time and work five days a week, then they will be entitled to a statutory minimum of 28 days’ paid annual leave a year, or 5.6 weeks’ holiday. If your workers are part-time and they work the same number of hours each day, Monday to Friday, every week they are also entitled to 5.6 weeks’ holiday, but this works out to be less than 28 days because they work fewer hours per week.

The basic way to work out how many days holiday an employee is entitled to is to multiply the number of days a week they work by 5.6. That gives someone working a five-day week the 28 days we’ve already mentioned. Someone who is part-time and only works three days a week would be entitled to 3 x 5.6 = 16.8 days.

It gets more involved if the hours differ on the days they do work, but our online calculator allows you to work out holiday entitlement both in days and in hours worked each week.

Similarly, if you have a member of staff who starts part-way through the holiday year or leaves part-way through, then the amount of holiday they are entitled to will be calculated based on the amount of time they have actually worked for you and will be a proportion of the full entitlement that they have accrued. This would be their pro-rata holiday entitlement.

Different instances of pro-rata holiday entitlement

If you have employees that join or leave part-way through your holiday year, whether they are full or part-time, then their holiday entitlement will be based on the amount of time they are actually employed by you during that period.

Calculating pro-rata holiday entitlement for an employee starting part-way through holiday year

Employees starting part-way through the year will have their holiday entitlement calculated from the date they join. For example, if your holiday year start date is January 1 and they don’t start working for you until March 1, their holiday allowance will be based on the period from March 1 through to December 31. Employees accrue holiday at the rate of 1/12 for each month within the holiday year, therefore, in this instance the employee will be entitled to 10/12 of a full year’s holiday allowance.

Calculating pro-rata holiday entitlement for an employee leaving part-way through holiday year

For an employee leaving part-way through the year the period of entitlement will run from your holiday year start date through to their leaving date.

If they’ve taken more than their holiday entitlement at the point they leave, then you can take the money back in their final pay pack, but only if it has been agreed in writing beforehand. If they have taken less than their entitlement at the point of departure you may be able to offer them payment in lieu of holiday.

Other considerations for pro-rata holiday entitlement

If you have part-time staff or staff who work irregular hours each month, then the calculations are carried out differently again. You also need to be mindful of bank holidays when working out their entitlement.

Calculating pro-rata holiday entitlement for part-time staff working in days and hours

If staff work irregular hours, for example, they are shift workers or working patterns change regularly, then holiday pay will be based on the average hours they have worked in the previous 12 weeks.

Holiday that doesn’t include bank hols

There is no statutory right to paid time off on bank holidays, so any right to time off will depend on the contract you have with your workers.

For example, you can make it a condition of employment that they have to take bank holidays as annual leave or they can be in addition to annual leave. For example, there are eight bank holidays a year so you can either give them the statutory 28 days plus bank holidays, giving a total of 36 days or include them, which would mean 20 days holiday they can take when they choose to.

pro-rata holiday calculaator