The coronavirus job retention scheme has been set up by the Government to reduce the number of redundancies and keep people earning a salary during the pandemic. Many people have now enrolled onto the scheme. But as an employee cannot complete any work for their employer at this time, what are the rules regarding holiday entitlement?
Almost all workers in the UK are entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year.
This also includes people on zero-hour or irregular hours contracts.
How much holiday pay a person receives will be outlined in their individual employment contracts.
Some employers offer more paid holiday than the legal minimum.
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How does furlough affect holiday pay?
Certain aspects of holiday pay remain unchanged while an employee is on furlough.
And workers who are on furlough can usually take holiday without disrupting their period of furlough.
The Government website explains: “The notice requirements for their employer requiring a worker to take leave or to refuse a request for leave continue to apply.”
Kate Martin, associate in the Employment team at JMW Solicitors, told Express.co.uk holiday pay will “accrue as normal” while an employee is on furlough.
She said: “Statutory holiday accrues as normal during any period of furlough.
“Additional contractual holiday will also accrue as normal, unless it has been formally agreed otherwise with the worker.
“Employers can require workers to use their holiday allowance during the period of furlough, provided they give the worker twice the amount of notice as the period of leave they want them to take.
“Alternatively, employers can also choose not to allow any holiday to be taken during furlough, providing they give the worker notice of the same number of days as the period of holiday that the employee wanted to take.”
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Will furloughed workers be paid for the bank holiday?
Ms Martin added: “Furloughed workers will be paid for the bank holiday.
“If the bank holiday usually forms part of a worker’s normal holiday entitlement, they should be paid holiday pay, even if they are furloughed.
“In this case, employers can still use the furlough scheme to cover 80 percent (or £,2,500 gross if lower) of holiday pay, but should then be topping up workers’ holiday pay to 100 percent (if they are not doing so already).
“If the bank holiday would be a normal working day for a furloughed worker, then it should be treated as such and they can receive their furloughed pay as normal, with no requirement to top up.”
The Government website explains an employee’s right to bank holidays off-work.
The website states: “There is no statutory right to time off for bank holidays.
“Employers can include bank holidays as part of a workers’ statutory holiday entitlement if they choose, but do not have to do so.
“Where necessary, employers can require workers who would usually take bank holidays as holiday to work instead, using the standard notice periods.
“Employers must still ensure that the workers receive their statutory holiday entitlement for the year.”
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