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How do I calculate Bank holiday entitlement for part time workers?

Updated: Apr 8

In simple terms, almost all workers, except those who are genuinely self-employed, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year. This entitlement is derived from the Working Time Regulations 1998. There is no statutory right for employees to have bank holidays as days off work. It is up to each organisation to determine what their policy will be regarding bank holidays, and to ensure this is clearly spelled out in contracts of employment and any annual leave policy.

Example wording:

  • You are entitled to 5.6 weeks statutory paid annual leave to include bank holidays.


  • We offer annual leave above the statutory minimum totalling x days inclusive of bank holidays, or x days plus the 8 standard bank holiday dates.


  • You may be required to work bank holidays but will receive 5.6 weeks annual leave entitlement across the year.

Once you have devised your policy, you need to think about how this affects part time workers.

Take one part-time employee who always works on Monday, and another who does not. Would you only pay for annual leave for the worker who usually works a Monday if your organisation is closed?

Of course not. Employees should be treated equally, whether part time, full time, or zero hours, and this includes entitlement to paid annual leave.

To calculate leave for part timers with a regular number of hours each week, you simply divide by full time and multiply by their part time equivalent. So if an employee’s working week is three days a week, they would be entitled to 5.6 of their 3 days weeks as leave including bank holidays. If you offer full-time employees more holiday than the statutory minimum of 5.6 weeks, you will need to make sure a part-timer is given same enhancement. For example, if your full-time employee is entitled to 30 days holiday which is six weeks, your part timer would also be entitled to 6 weeks holiday.

If an employee does not have a standard number of days each week because the contract states that they work variable days or hours, you can calculate holiday entitlement on an accrual basis. It may be easier to calculate their annual entitlement in hours rather than days. An average week for variable hours staff is reached by calculating the previous 52 weeks worked (ignoring non working weeks) and dividing by 52 to provide the average week. This is the figure that would be paid when leave is booked.

5.6 weeks annual leave may include bank holidays, so an employee who works Monday in an organisation that does not open on bank holidays will need to use a larger proportion of the total annual leave to book bank holiday days than an employee who works Tuesday and Thursday each week for example as fewer bank holidays fall on those days.

Bank holidays are one of the trickiest elements of annual leave to get your head round. Add part-time employees and zero-hours or casual workers to the mix and it gets even more complex, although rolled up holiday pay can be applied for holiday years that begin on or after April 2024.

We are always happy to assist clients with pro rata annual leave calculations for part time employees or joiners during the annual leave year.

In summary:

  • Employees and workers must receive the statutory 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave per annum.

  • Bank holidays can be included within the statutory allowance of 5.6 week per year.

  • There is no statutory requirement to pay or offer leave on bank holidays.

  • Part-time employees must be treated no less favourably than full-time. So, if you pay full-time employees for bank holidays in addition to the statutory minimum, you must ensure the rest of your workforce receives the same entitlement, regardless of whether they would be working the bank holiday days or not.

Check out other Blogs in our series:

Check out our recent webinar on calculating Bank Holiday leave for part timers

Please contact Robinson Grace HR for further advice and support via or call us on 01793 311937 to see if we can help you.

The content of our blogs is intended for general information only and does not replace legal or other professional advice.

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