How to calculate bank holiday entitlement for part-time employees

3 min read  |   2 March, 2022   By Sarah Benstead

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There are more than 8 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 you know exactly how much holiday they are entitled to - and this includes bank holidays.

This is a legal requirement, so it's important you get it right. To help you out, here’s all you need to know about bank holiday allowances for your part-time staff.

Firstly, let's recap on what the deal is with standard holiday entitlement.

Holiday entitlement for part-time workers


Pro rata bank holidays

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 don't have 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.

Let's look at an example - if an employee is working two days per week, they'd be entitled to 11.2 days’ holiday. Or, if they work three days per week, they'd receive 16.8 days. Of course, part of a day is difficult to take as holiday, so part-days are generally rounded up to keep things simple.

Use Breathe's handy holiday calculator to calculate holiday allowances for part-time workers.

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So what happens when bank holidays come into the equation?


Bank holidays for part-time workers 

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. 

The numbers bit

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, and these are taken as paid leave either on top of or part of their normal allowance.

These employees work five days a week, equalling a total of 40 hours, so are effectively receiving 64 hours of bank holiday leave (8 bank holidays x 8 hour working day = 64 hours).

Here's how you figure out entitlement for a part-time employee:

If an employee works two days a week, the company would give 25.6 hours of bank holiday leave.

Here's how we calculated this:

16 hours worked per week / 40 hours maximum working time per week x 64 hours of bank holiday leave. 

So, here's the magic formula you'll need:

(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 can cause minor hurdles, though - for example, what happens if a part-time employee is only working part of a day?

You simply round it up. 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. 

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.

And that's it - you have everything you need to calculate bank holiday entitlement for your part time workers.

For more useful information on holiday entitlement, download our free guide.

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Author: Sarah Benstead

Sarah is a Product Marketing Specialist here at Breathe. Always innovating, she loves writing about product releases in an engaging & informative way. When she's not coming up with new ideas, she enjoys long walks with her dog, Clifford.

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