Holidays & Holiday Pay

Holidays & Holiday Pay


Since 1998, thanks to the EU Working Time Regulations, workers have had the right to guaranteed paid holidays. Since April 2009, workers are entitled to at least 5.6 weeks (28 days for workers working a five day week) annual paid holiday per year.

Who’s entitled?

This leave applies to employees, most agency workers, and people with worker employment status which will include many false self-employed workers.
Construction workers being paid via the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) could be entitled to paid holidays, if it is established that their relationship is that of an employee or a worker.

How much holiday are you due?

Workers that put in a normal 5 day week would normally be entitled to a minimum of 28 days per year. Some workers may have contracts of employment or operate under collective agreements negotiated by the union, such as the CIJC, that allows for more holidays per year. Workers working for fewer or more days a week will receive pro rata holidays.

Some useful information that members should be aware of regarding holidays:

  1. Holiday rights start from day one of working. You accrue holidays the moment you begin a job.
  2. Public holidays can be included in your minimum entitlement, unless your contract of employment stipulates otherwise. Member should note there is no statutory right to public holidays.
  3. You are not automatically entitled to public holidays, nor are you entitled by law to any premium payment for working on these days. You must check your contract of employment to establish your terms and conditions around holidays.
  4. Holiday pay must be at your normal rate of pay, excluding irregular overtime payments. Should overtime be contractual then it should be paid in your holiday pay, bonus can also be included in holiday payments.
  5. An employer does have the right to tell you when to take annual leave. An employer can also deny a request for annual leave for business reasons.
  6. An employer should no longer “roll up” holiday pay. This means that holiday pay should be paid when the holiday is actually taken by the worker. If your holiday pay is being rolled up into your rate you should contact your regional office.
  7. You should give notice to your employer of your intention to take holidays. This should normally be at least twice as far in advance of the holiday that is to be taken. Therefore for two weeks holidays you should inform your employer at least four weeks before the date that the holiday is expected to commence.
  8. If you leave a job and have some holiday entitlement remaining, that is accrued holiday that has not yet been taken, then you should be paid for these outstanding periods of holiday. Conversely, should you leave a job having taken more holiday than you have accrued during your period of employment, then you may have deducted from any payments the amount owed from your final payment.

Holidays in the Construction Industry Joint Council Agreement (CIJC)

The annual leave entitlement under the CIJC Agreement is 21 days annual leave + 8 public holidays stipulated in the agreement.  The combined entitlement of 29 days is accrued on a week to week basis at the rate of 0.558 days per week worked during the year.

In order to calculate holiday pay entitlement you should multiply the number of weeks service in the year by 0.558, to find out many holidays you have accrued.

Holidays while sick

You will continue to accrue holidays while off work with any form of sickness. This means for example should you be off long term sick (a period of more than 4 weeks), you will be entitled to your annual leave entitlement when you return to work.  Any statutory holiday entitlement that isn’t used because of illness can be carried over into the next leave year.

Any member with concerns around holidays or holiday pay should contact their local UCATT office for advice.

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