24 Feb 2016 12:01 PM

The situation regarding statutory annual leave entitlement is really pretty straightforward.

‘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, May bank holidays. However there is one moveable feast; it falls on varying dates each year depending on the phases of the moon, Easter.

The 2015 and 2016 Easter dates have fallen in the same 12 month period, which may go unnoticed by most people.

However, 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 incidence and for future such incident and take action to ensure that you are not in breach of contract.

Why?

Your employees had two Easter bank holidays after 1 April 2015 (3 April 2015 was Good Friday and 7 April 2015 was Easter Monday).  In the same leave year they will have another two Easter Bank Holidays (Good Friday 26 March 2016 and Easter Monday 29 March 2016). This means that your employees will have had ten public holidays in the leave year 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

In the leave year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 they will have only six bank holidays and therefore, overall, less than their statutory minimum entitlement.

The action that you need to take will depend on the wording in your employment contracts.  You cannot impose a change to your employee’s holiday entitlement with prior agreement from them.

To find out details of the options open to you please click here.

For further advice on what you need to do please contact me by email rosemary.hedgecock@alliotts.com or call  01483 508551.