It’s tough for employees to deal with holiday requests around Christmas; everybody wants time off!

Employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks' annual leave

That’s 28 days for people working a 5 day week.

For people working part time hours, you can calculate the number of days using the following formula:

Full days worked a week  x 5.6 =  paid day entitlement

For example: 2 days per week x 5.6 = 11.2 paid days

Legal holiday entitlement is capped at 28 days

So if somebody works a 6 or 7 day week, they aren’t entitled to more than 28 days.

Of course, you can decide to offer people more holiday time, if you choose.

Absences shouldn’t affect holiday entitlement

Employees are still entitled to accrue holiday time if they are absent due to:

• Maternity leave
• Paternity leave
• Sickness
• Adoption leave

Employees can take sickness and holiday time off together

If an employee is ill, they can choose to take the sick day off as a holiday, so they will still be paid.

You can choose to:

• Shut your office for certain periods over Christmas
• Specify dates when employees must use their annual entitlement
• Specify periods during which all holiday entitlement must be taken
• Set the a maximum number of days that can be taken at once
• Determine the maximum number of employees who can be off at any one time.

There's no legal entitlement to be paid for public holidays

You can choose to pay people for public holidays, and take it off their 5.6 week holiday entitlement.

If an employee has already taken all of their annual leave before Christmas, you cannot deduct money from their final pay unless you have already agreed it in writing.

Holiday time not taken must be paid to the worker if employment ends.

This is known as ‘‘payment in lieu’. It applies even if the employee is dismissed for gross misconduct.

If you're hiring temporary staff over the busy Christmas period, this could be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

However, this is a contract that can only be made if employment ends; you cannot do this if employee is going to continue to work for you.

By Tirebuck Recruitment, one of the Recruitment Agencies in Solihull