What you need to know about holidays and entitlements this festive season

General / 21 December 2020
What you need to know about holidays and entitlements this festive season

After the unprecedented year of 2020 and with the holidays fast approaching many employers are getting to grips with employee entitlements, which arise in a number of ways

Closedown periods:  In a closedown period, employees can be required to use annual holidays or take unpaid leave.  Closedown periods are available to employers provided they are “customarily” used, and employees are given at least 14 days’ notice.

Annual holidays: Off the back of national lockdowns this year, employees may have less accrued annual holidays to use. Employees who are entitled to annual holidays, can be required to take these with 14 days’ notice, if agreement as to the timing of holidays cannot be reached

Public holidays:  Employees are entitled to be paid for any public holiday, even if they don’t work that day, if it falls on a day that would ‘otherwise be a working day’ for them.

Where an employee works on a public holiday, they must be paid at the employee’s normal pay plus half that amount again, and if the public holiday is on a day that an employee would otherwise have worked, they will also be entitled to an alternative holiday. Alternative holidays can either be used, by agreement or at the employer’s direction, or may be cashed out by agreement.

Transfer of public holidays:  This year Boxing Day and January 2 fall on a Saturday, meaning that these days are automatically transferred to the Monday immediately following the weekend, where the weekend day is not one that an employee would otherwise have worked.

Employers can also agree in writing with employees to transfer any public holiday to another day. The new date cannot be another public holiday and must be a day the employee would otherwise have worked.

Message for Employers

If you would like advice regarding public holidays, annual holiday entitlements or closedowns please contact our team.

Disclaimer: We remind you that while this article provides commentary on employment law, health and safety and immigration topics, it should not be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice for specific situations. Please seek legal advice from your lawyer for any questions specific to your workplace.


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