29 Jan 2018 2:32 PM

If your leave year runs from 1 April to 31 March this situation could impact on you.

Under working time rules, employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks annual leave. This equates to 28 days a year for those on a five day week. Those 28 days can include statutory bank holidays, of which there are usually eight per year.

Most bank holiday dates are predictable, (give or take a day); Christmas day, Boxing day, New Years day, two bank holidays in May and one Late Summer.  However there is one moveable feast, depending on the phases of the moon, Easter falls on varying dates each year.

If you are an employer who gives the statutory minimum holiday and your annual leave year runs from 1 April to 31 March you may need to review your contracts to provide for this and take action to ensure that you are not in breach of contract.

Why?

Easter 2018 is early, and as a result your current leave year period: 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018, captures two Good Fridays (14 April 2017 & 30 March 2018), which means there are 9 Bank Holidays.  So your employees have 9 bank holidays plus 20 annual leave days.

Consequently, in the next leave year, 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019, there will be only 7 Bank Holidays and therefore, overall, less than your employee’s annual statutory minimum entitlement. So your employees will have 7 bank holidays plus 20 annual leave days equalling 27 days, which is one day less than the statutory minimum.

The action that you need to take will depend on the wording in your employment contracts. 

The important thing to be aware of is that you cannot impose a change to your employee’s holiday entitlement with prior agreement from them. 

For further advice on what you need to do please do get in touch with me on 01483 508551 or email rosemary.hedgecock@alliotts.com.