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Holiday and other statutory leave and time off

This page contains:


Holiday entitlement

Maternity and paternity leave and pay

Parental bereavement leave and pay

Sick pay

Employee rights on maternity, paternity and parental leave

Career breaks

Time off work rights

Travel disruption and work



The following topics relating to holiday and other statutory rights to leave and pay are covered in GOV.UK,. Legaleze has where appropriate added further information, in particular references to new case decisions by the courts.

Note that the contract of employment may give the employee rights which are more extensive than the statutory rights to holiday, sickness, maternity/paternity etc.

Holiday entitlement or annual leave

For information for employers and workers on entitlement, calculating leave, taking leave, accruing leave and dispute, see Holiday entitlement

In addition to employees working under a contract of employment,  the regulations cover workers working under any other contract, whether express or implied and (if it is express) whether oral or in writing, whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract. Excepted from this definition are contracts where the status of the other party ist that of a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual 

[regulation 2 of the Working Time Regulations 1998].

Worker will lose entitlement to accrued holiday pay if does not take leavet

If a worker, not aware of his right to annual leave, does not actually take it, he will lose entitlement to accrued holiday pay entitlement except in the year of termination of the contract:  King v The Sash Window Workshop Ltd and another
UKEAT/0057/14/MC Hearing date: 4 November 2014

Pyments for overtime which employe required to work is part of normal remuneration

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that payments for overtime, which the employees in the two appeals were required to work, was to be treated as part of normal remuneration and to be included as such in the calculation of pay for holiday leave taken under regulation 13 of the Working Time Regulations 1998.

Bear Scotland Ltd & Others v Fulton & Others
UKEATS/0047/13/BI Judgment: 4 Novembe

NB: the right to claim backdated holiday pay has been restricted:

What’s new items [go to What’s new? page or archive for more details]:

9/12/2014: Backdated holiday pay claims to be restricted to 2 years

The Government wishes to take action to ‘protect UK business from the potentially damaging impact of large backdated claims’. The effect of the Deduction from Wages (Limitation) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/3322) will be that claims to Employment Tribunals on this issue will be limited to a reference period of not more than 2 years.

Holiday leave accrues while a worker is on sick leave:
Larner v NHS Leeds: [2012] EWCA Civ 1034
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. The court had to determine the circumstances in which a worker, who had not taken paid annual leave in the relevant leave year because of absence from work on long-term sick leave, was entitled to payment in lieu. Regulation 15 of the Regulations had no application where a worker was on sick leave and was prevented by sickness from taking paid annual leave during that period of sick leave.

Road transport workers: the regulation of working time for "mobile workers" who work in road transport (including lorry drivers) is dealt with in two European measures: Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 ("the Road Transport Regulation") and Council Directive 2002/15/EC ("the Road Transport Working Time Directive"). The High Court has ruled there was no requirement on the UK to introduce secondary legislation to provide for such a right:
17/07/2012: R (on the application of United Road Transport Union) v Secretary of State for Transport [2012] EWHC 1909 (Admin)

GOV.UK has a Calculate holiday entitlement

Holiday calculator to work out statutory holiday leave in days or hours

Calculate your agricultural worker holiday entitlement
Work out how much statutory holiday leave you’re entitled to as an agricultural worker

Maternity and paternity leave and pay 

Statutory Maternity Pay and Leave: employer guide
Employer guide to Statutory Maternity Pay and Leave - entitlement, eligibility, notice period, form SMP1 and recover statutory pay.

What’s new items on this  topic [go to What’s new? page or archive for more details]:

19/11/2014: Shared maternity pay

The Maternity Allowance (Curtailment) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/3053) and the Statutory Maternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay (Curtailment) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/3054) come into force on 1 December 2014. The Shared Parental Pay (General) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/3051 and Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014, SI 2014/3050 also come into force on 1 December 2014.

Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay and Leave: employer guide
Employer guide to Statutory Paternity Pay or Leave - entitlement, eligibility, notice period, forms SC3 and OSPP1, recover statutory pay

22/07/2014: New parental and maternity leave regulations

Draft Shared Parental Leave Regulations 2014, Statutory Shared Parental Pay (General) Regulations 2014 and Maternity and Adoption Leave (Curtailment of Statutory Rights to Leave) Regulations 2014 are due to come into force on 1 December 2014, subject to Parliamentary approval.

Additional Paternity Pay and Leave: employer guide
Employer guide to Additional Statutory Paternity Pay and Leave - entitlement, eligibility, notice period, forms SC7 and ASPP1 and recover statutory pay

Parental leave
Guidance for employers and employees about parental leave: this is unpaid time off for employees to look after children under 5 (or 18 if disabled) - eligibility, how much leave can be taken and notice periods

Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave - employer guide
Employer guide to Statutory Adoption Pay and Leave - entitlement, eligibility, notice period, proof of adoption, recover statutory pay

Employers' maternity and paternity calculator
Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption leave or pay - calculate the qualifying week, relevant period, pay rate, notice period and the start and end dates

Parental bereavement leave and pay

24/01/2020: ‘Jack’s Law’ - Parental Bereavement leave and pay to come into force

Subject to Parliamentary approval of the delegated legislation, the Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations (known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd) will come into force on 6 April 2020.

The right to Parental Bereavement Leave (PBL) will apply to all employed parents who lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth (from 24 weeks of pregnancy), irrespective of how long they have been with their employer (the leave is a ‘day-one’ employment right). Parents will be able to take PBL as either a single block of 2 weeks, or as 2 separate blocks of one week each taken at different times across the first year after their child’s death.

Parents with at least 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer and weekly average earnings over the lower earning limit (£118 per week for 2019 to 2020) will also be entitled to Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP), paid at the statutory rate of £148.68 per week (for 2019 to 2020), or 90% of average weekly earnings where this is lower. SPBP will be administered by employers in the same way as existing family-related statutory payments such as Statutory Paternity Pay.

The Government stated that [the new regulations will provide] the most generous offer on parental bereavement pay and leave in the world.

Legal basis:

(i) the Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 amended the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 The Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020

(ii) The draft Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay Regulations and Parental Bereavement Leave Regulations 2020.

Sick pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) - employer guide
Employer guide to Statutory Sick Pay - entitlement to SSP, form SSP1, eligibility, fit notes, sick notes, recover statutory pay

Employee rights when on maternity paternity and parental leave

Employee rights when on leave
Guidance for employees and employers: employment rights when on maternity, paternity or adoption leave - keeping in touch days, annual leave, returning to work, redundancy

Career breaks

Career breaks
Career breaks - eligibility and notice periods, contract terms and conditions.

Time off work rights

Giving staff time off for jury service
What you can do if an employee is called up for jury service, and how to sort out their pay or help them claim an allowance

Giving staff time off for magistrate duty
How to give an employee time off to volunteer as a magistrate, and how much time they are allowed off

Time off for family and dependants
Your legal right to time off to care for dependants - when you can take time off, how long you get, your rights

Time off work for employment hearings or tribunals
Employees and workers must be given time off to attend a work hearing or tribunal

Time off work for public duties
Taking time off work for public duties (eg as a magistrate, school governor or on jury service) - rights and responsibilities for employees and employers

Training and study at work: rights
Time to Train - the legal right to request time off for training or study while in a job

Travel disruption and work

Travel disruption and work

Travel disruption and work - employee rights, employer rights, paid and unpaid holiday entitlement, winter weather

[Page updated: 26/01/2020]


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