Working Time Regulations Guide

Paid Annual Leave

  • Every worker – whether part-time or full-time – covered by these regulations is entitled to 4.8 weeks’ paid annual leave. This includes workers who are subject to the Road Transport Directive.
  • A week’s leave should allow workers to be away from work for a week. It should be the same amount of time as the working week: if a worker does a 5-day week, he or she is entitled to 24 days’ leave; if he or she does a 3-day week, the entitlement is 14.4 days’ leave.
  • The leave entitlement under the regulations is not additional to bank holidays. There is no statutory right to take bank holidays off. Therefore a worker who is not otherwise paid in respect of bank holidays may take bank holidays as part of his or her annual leave entitlement in order to receive payment for these holidays.
  • Workers must give the employer notice that they want to take leave.
  • Employers can set the times that workers take their leave, for example for a Christmas shutdown.
  • If a worker’s employment ends, he or she has a right to be paid for the leave time due and not taken.

Employers must check:

  • Who is entitled to annual leave
  • How much leave workers currently receive and whether it is enough
  • Whether workers receive a week’s pay for each week of leave.

Holiday Entitlement

Statutory holiday entitlement is changing.

The holiday entitlement increased to 4.8 weeks (24 days if you work a five day week) from 1 October 2007 and will further increase to 5.6 weeks (28 days if you work a five day week) from 1 April 2009, pro-rata for those working part-time.

The holiday entitlement is inclusive of bank holidays. If you already receive paid time off for bank holidays in addition to your four week holiday entitlement your holiday entitlement has not increased.

An easy to use tool to help calculate the new leave allowance is available on the Business Link web-site –

These proposals relate to England, Wales and Scotland. The Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland is bringing forward proposals for Northern Ireland.

Holiday Entitlement Ready Reckoner

The statutory entitlement for a member of staff will depend on when their leave year begins. A member of staff whose leave year begins on 1 April will have a holiday entitlement of:

  • 4.4 weeks in the leave year April 2007-March 2008;
  • 4.8 weeks in the leave year April 2008-March 2009;
  • 5.6 weeks in the leave year April 2009-March 2010 and onwards.

To work out the entitlement for other leave years and working patterns, please use the Business Link online calculator:

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