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A simple guide to calculating holiday allowance for part-time employees

3 min read  |   15 April, 2016   By Sarah Benstead

Lady relaxing on a beach chair looking out to the ocean in the evening sun

As a leader, sometimes it can be extremely easy to dive straight in at work and forget to come up for air. The same goes for your staff: they work hard to get results, but it's essential they take holiday every now and then in order to continue working at optimum performance - even part-time staff.

Often, in small companies staff can feel as though it's inconvenient to take time off work as there is always something that needs to be done and not as many cogs in the business machine.

But a team that is worked too hard can soon become burned out and disengaged, and it's up to you to make sure you know how much holiday they're entitled to - and that they take it.

Here's how you can easily calculate holiday for part-time employees.


What holiday are staff entitled to?

Full-time employees

Almost all workers in the UK receive 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday entitlement a year and this can include bank holidays (this is up to the employer).

Related: Bank holiday entitlement for part-time workers: how to calculate

Full time workers that work 5 days a week must legally receive 28 days of paid annual leave. This is calculated by multiplying a normal working week (5 days) by the annual entitlement of 5.6 weeks.

Part-time employees

Figuring out full-time holiday allowance is nice and easy - but what about part-time employees?

This can often be a real headache, especially if you only do it once every now and again.

That’s why Breathe have built a part-time holiday calculator to make this a breeze. All you have to do is enter the data required and the rest is worked out for you.

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How to calculate part-time holiday allowances

Calculating holiday allowances for part time staff can often be a daunting task - but don't worry, we're here to make it easier for you.

Employees who work regular hours 

The first thing to remember is that, like full-time employees, part-time employees also use the factor of 5.6 weeks per year (bear with us on this one).

Here's the magic formula:

Amount of days worked per week x 5.6 = days of allowance per year

Let's look at an example.

  • Sally works 3 full days a week.
    So: 3 days a week x 5.6 weeks = 16.8 days of paid annual leave per year.


What happens if they work irregular hours?

Simply, the calculation needs to be done in hours rather than days. Holiday entitlement for irregular workers is accrued at 12.07% of the hours that they've worked. 

(The 12.07% figure comes from 5.6 weeks' holiday ÷ 46.4 weeks (52 weeks - 5.6 weeks) x100)

Here's an example.

  • Last week, Ben worked 8 hours on Tuesday and 4 hours on Saturday. So a total of 12 hours.
    So, 12.07% of 12 = 1.4484.
    You can't round this number down to 1.4, so it makes sense to round it up to 1.5 days (no one wants 1.4484 days of holiday...).

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