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Holiday pay and entitlement reforms

From 1st January 2024, the Working Time Regulations, as amended by The Employment Rights (Amendment, Revocation and Transitional Provision) Regulations 2023, introduced reforms that simplify holiday pay and entitlements.

Following Brexit, any European laws that were retained in the UK automatically expired on 31st December unless legislation was brought in to keep them. The Employment Rights Regulations 2023 do just that and are applicable across the UK. As well as reinstating some EU laws, these regulations make several changes to existing laws.

These reforms include changes that affect rates of holiday pay and annual leave. They also cover handling irregular hours and part-year workers, accrual of COVID-19 carryover of leave, and rolled-up holiday pay.

Holiday entitlement

The Regulations define what an irregular hours or part-year worker is and make changes for how their holiday entitlement for holiday years beginning 1st April 2024 and onwards are accrued.

Employers will need to calculate holiday entitlement for such workers at 12.07% of the hours worked in any pay period. This does not apply to the calculations for regular-hours workers.

Holiday pay

The Regulations specify that all full-year workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid statutory holiday entitlement per year. These are split into two pots.

  • Four weeks – the original EU leave entitlement – must be paid at the employee’s ‘normal’ rate of pay and the regulations now specify that this includes overtime pay, commission and allowances.
  • The remaining 1.6 weeks – an addition made by the UK – only have to be paid at the employee’s ‘basic’ rate of pay.

The government has produced guidance containing examples and calculation methods based on the legal minimums set out in the Regulations.

Of course, many workers have contracts that entitle them to a holiday that exceeds the statutory minimum. Or the changes may make the standard holiday clauses used in an employer’s employment contract no longer legal. Businesses are therefore encouraged to first check individual employment contracts, and if necessary, seek independent legal advice.

See the guidance here:

If you need any help with running your payroll, please get in touch with us. If you need HR advice, we have a strong network of professionals that we can refer you to.


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