Many companies start their holiday year from January to December.

At this time of year, employees are keen to not only book their holidays, they also need to know what they are entitled to.

Every employee is entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday per year, this equates to 28 days for a full time employee who works 5 days per week (or more).  If you give enhanced contractual holidays, all you need to do is add 0.2 for each extra day. For example, 5 weeks entitlement plus bank holidays equates to 6.6 weeks or 33 days (including bank holidays).

Most employers allocate the 8 bank holidays to be taken from the employees' entitlement leaving them with the remaining 20 days to request the leave when they wish to take it (subject to approval).  The 28 days is of course pro-rated for part time employees.

There is generally a lot of confusion as to how the allocation of bank holidays must be applied for part time employees and very often the employer either does not make a deduction when an employee's normal working day falls on a bank holiday, or employees can be disadvantaged if bank holidays are not taken into account. 

Based on statutory entitlement (5.6 weeks per annum for example), an employee who works 3 days per week x 5.6 (weeks entitlement) = 16.8 days rounded up to the nearest ½ day is 17 days per annum. 

But did you know if you can have 2 people working the same number of days per week and although their overall entitlement is the same, when a bank holiday falls on a day the employee would normally be working this should be deducted from their holiday allocation. 

To make matters even more confusing when you take bank holidays into account, disposable holiday can be quite different.  Please see the tables below (based on 2018 bank holidays and applying statutory entitlement). 


Days worked

Working days

Overall entitlement

Deduct Bank Holidays

(falling on working days)

Days remaining to take


Sam Smith




Mon, Tues, Weds








Chris Jones




Weds, Thurs, Fri







2018 Bank Holidays

Monday 1st January

Friday 30th March

Monday 2nd April

Monday 7th May

Monday 28th May

Monday 27th August

Tuesday 25th December

Wednesday 26th December

When an employee works variable days or hours it becomes even more difficult to calculate and you may need to seek further assistance on this to ensure you correctly apply holiday in these cases. An easy solution to help you reduce mistakes and save time is to consider our online holiday and absence system provided through  

If you need guidance or advice with your holiday requirements or to book a demo, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email

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