Happy (bank) holidays? Calculating part-time employees’ bank holiday entitlement

Waving goodbye to spring and welcoming longer, sunnier evenings. Looking forward to May and August bank holidays. Enjoying longer weekends. Par for the course when you work full-time. But what happens when you work part-time and maybe not on a Monday or Friday (the traditional bank holiday days)?


“I pay my full-time staff when they don’t work on a bank holiday, but my part-time employee doesn’t work on Mondays, so they won’t be entitled to the May and Summer bank holidays, right?”


That’s not necessarily correct!


Legally, part-time staff should not be treated less favourably than comparable full-time staff in terms of their entitlement to public/bank holidays. If you’re allowing full time staff paid time off, but not part time staff, you could be breaking the law.


So, what should you do?

Well, if you’re paying full-time staff for not working on a bank holiday, then part-time staff are entitled to a pro-rated bank holiday allowance. Yes, even if the bank holiday falls on a day they would not normally work because you can’t treat part-timers unfavourably due to their hours.


How is that calculated?

Check your company policy or contractual clauses that cover bank holiday entitlements (Haven’t got one? Contact us we can help with this). The contract or policy should explain how this should be treated and set a company precedent. Follow it, to ensure consistency across the business.


For us, we find it is easier to calculate all pro-rated annual leave and bank holiday entitlement in hours, rather than days. For part-time staff, that means you can apply it to any variety of working patterns, including long and short days.


Here’s the maths… bear with it.

For example, if full-time staff work an average 40 hours per week (8 hours per day) and are entitled to 8 paid bank holidays per year, this would be 64 hours per year of bank holiday entitlement (8hrs x 8).


8 bank holiday days x 8 hours per day = 64 hours.


If you have a part-time member of staff who works 22.5 hours per week, the calculation would be:


22.5 (contractual hours per week) ÷ 40 (the full-time equivalent hours) x 64 (full-time equivalent bank holiday entitlement) = 36 hours of paid bank holiday per year. Make sense?  


How do I manage this?

We recommend adding bank holidays into a part-time person’s annual leave entitlement; their allowance will not necessarily match exactly with the number of day’s public holiday their working days fall on. In this case, if they are scheduled to work on the bank holiday, they will need to book this as annual leave to take the day off (be aware that you should have this requirement detailed in their contract of employment, or give them the appropriate notice to ask them to take leave that day).

If they don’t normally work on a Monday, they can choose to take their bank holiday entitlement at another time during the leave year. So they don’t feel like they’re missing out.

 By ensuring your part-time staff have their fair share of bank holidays, you can sit back, relax and be happy in the knowledge your whole team can make the most of their bank holidays… even if they aren’t taken on the same day as yours!

 Okay, we know it’s a bit confusing. And you want to keep everything fair in your business. So, if you need help ensuring your calculations are correct, get in touch.

We're more than your typical HR Consultants. We work with SMEs to provide forward thinking and results orientated HR services across London.

Working with like-minded businesses, we help you attract and retain the best people. Our goal is to work in partnership with you, to create great places to work, whilst ensuring you're compliant with your legal obligations.

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Sarah RopekComment