Your holiday should be paid leave. Whilst on holiday, you are now entitled to be paid what you normally earn – this may include overtime (even voluntary overtime if it is regular) or bonuses, and any commission payments.
If your pay varies each week, perhaps due to piece work or similar, your holiday pay should be the average of your pay over the last 12 working weeks.
Some Employers claim that holiday pay has been included in basic pay, paid over the year. This is often known as “rolled up” holiday pay. This may or may not be the case, and the legal position on this has been uncertain. If your Employer is telling you that your holiday pay is part of your normal wage or salary, it is best to seek some further advice. It must be clearly shown on your pay slip in addition to your basic wage.This practice is not recommended now in view of a decision by the European Court. The spirit of the law is that you get a break from working, rather than jus be paid off.
If you work on an occasional casual basis, and you are happy to take the holiday as payment in lieu of actually having holiday leave, that is fine.
If you wish to get further advice, Contact our Advice Line.
You are encouraged in the Working Time regs to take regular breaks from work – this is the basic idea behind Statutory holidays. Your Employer should not prevent you from taking your 5.6 weeks (28 days) entitlement in the holiday year it is due – but remember Bank holidays can be part of this entitlement.
Strictly speaking your Employer should not allow or encourage you to “carry over” your holiday to the next holiday year, or to take a payment instead of your holiday days. This only applies to 4 weeks or 20 days of the “statutory” holiday entitlement – this is the European law. You can carry over, or be paid in lieu for, any holiday days in excess of the 4 weeks, subject to your Employers policy on this. Check your contract or handbook for details.
“Carry over” of holiday entitlement is allowed where you have been unable to take your holiday in the relevant holiday year – perhaps due to long term sickness or maternity absence; or where your employer prevented you from taking holiday. In these situations you should not lose your holiday entitlement, it can carry over.
For more information on any of these rights, do contact our help line.