Employee Relations

How to calculate holiday entitlement for casual workers

reviewing employee records

Updated on 5/7/2023


According to UK law, you must give your employees 5.6 weeks of paid leave every year.

This is easy to work out when it comes to full-time employees on a 5-day, 40-hour work week. They will get 28 days of paid holiday per year. It is also easy to work out for employees who work regular, predictable shifts. You simply multiply their number of working days each week by 5.6 to find their annual entitlement.

But what about employees with irregular working patterns? Casual workers, or employees on zero-hour contracts, are still entitled to statutory holiday entitlement.

Holiday entitlement for casual workers

The easiest way to work out holiday entitlement for casual workers is to give them an accrued entitlement. This means they earn holiday entitlement based on the number of hours they have actually worked.

To make sure employees accrue the UK minimum of 5.6 weeks of paid leave, you can use the rule of 12.07%. In other words, for each hour an employee works, they earn 7.242 minutes’ holiday entitlement.

For example, if an employee works two 8-hour shifts per week for four weeks, then they will have accrued 7.7248 hours’ holiday entitlement – meaning they’ll be able to book the equivalent of nearly one shift off work, and still get paid.

We used the following source for this calculation.

You can include bank holidays as part of your employees’ holiday entitlements

If your business does not operate during business hours, you can include bank holidays as part of your standard holiday allowance. This reduces the number of days your employees can book as paid leave, but ensures they are paid for bank holidays.

However, some companies offer a more attractive holiday package, as it can help improve morale, motivation and productivity. For example, you might wish to offer the standard 28 days of paid holiday (or the casual hours equivalent), as well as bank holidays.

Managing holiday entitlement with People HR

Our HR Software automatically calculates holiday entitlements for casual workers and irregular working patterns. By default, the calculation is set to 12.07% of the time worked.

If you want to change this calculation, for example, to offer employees a more attractive holiday entitlement, then People HR  gives you the flexibility to easily do this.

To discuss how People HR can help you with managing holidays and much more, speak to one of our experts today.

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Rich Newsome
By Rich Newsome Digital Content Writer

Rich is a content writer at Access PeopleHR and has a wealth of experience within the tech space, including HR software. Passionate about providing website visitors with informative and easy-to-understand content, Rich is committed to helping SMBs find the best solutions for their needs. With a flair for writing, Rich's content engages and educates readers, guiding them towards informed decisions.