From 1 April 2007, all employees are entitled to at least four weeks paid annual holidays a year. The increase from three weeks to four weeks paid holidays or leave is being introduced gradually during the 12 months from that date, it applies to different people on different dates.
An individual employee becomes entitled to four weeks paid annual holidays on the anniversary of the date they started their current job. The anniversary date has to fall after 1 April, 2007.
For example if an employee started work on the 1st of June 2006, they will be entitled to four weeks holidays on 1 June, 2007. Or if they started on the 3rd of February 2007, they will be entitled to four weeks holidays on 3 February, 2008. For all employees who receive “pay as you go” holiday pay, the payment rises on 1 April, 2007 to 8% of their pay, up from 6%.
The right to four weeks minimum paid annual holidays applies to all workers, of all ages, in all industries. It is against the law for an employer to give less than the minimum.
It is an offence to include holiday pay in weekly or hourly pay or paying them holiday pay on a weekly or hourly basis. This can only be done with a casual or temporary employee and the employment is less than a year. Even then, a clear agreement from both employee and employer is required.
Employees are also entitled to 11 public holidays on pay if the public holiday falls on days they would normally work. Employment contracts can provide for alternative days, but not less than 11 days.
HR Tool Kit:
- Holidays Act 2003
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment – Entitlement to Holidays and Other Leave