Could Your Contracts Hold an Easter Surprise?

28 October 2015

The Working Time Regulations (WTR) stipulate that full time employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks holiday per holiday year. This equates to 28 days, inclusive of public holidays. This is a minimum requirement and applies regardless of how many public holidays there are in the holiday year.

You will no doubt be aware that Easter, and therefore the two associated public holidays, moves from year to year. If your holiday year runs April-March, this could cause you a problem! The 2015 Easter break fell in April and the Easter 2016 falls in March. This means that a 2015/16 holiday year running from 1st April to 31st March will feature 10 public holidays, with the following holiday year (2016/17) featuring only 6. Therefore, if your holiday year runs from April to March, it is likely that this will have repercussions for your staff.

If your contract gives staff an entitlement to 20 days basic leave in addition to all public holidays, you will be contractually bound to give them 30 days of paid holiday in 2015/16. As the 5.6 weeks entitlement under the WTR is a minimum, you are not permitted to only give staff 26 days paid holiday the following year – you must grant staff at least 28 days.

At Alpha, we are specialists in preparing the full range of employment documentation – including contracts of employment. If you would like Alpha to draft documentation that is bespoke to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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