Holidays & COVID19 #coronavirus

The Department for Business Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (13th May 2020) have confirmed holiday pay law application during the #coronavirus pandemic. This is a reaffirmation of existing law.

It is designed to help employers understand their legal obligations, in terms of workers who:

  • continue to work
  • have been placed on furlough

Holiday entitlement

Almost all workers, including zero-hour contracted workers and those on irregular hours contracts, are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday per year. The exception is those who are genuinely self-employed….

Furloughed workers

Workers who have been placed on furlough continue to accrue statutory holiday entitlements, and any additional holiday provided for under their employment contract…

Taking holiday

Employers can:

  • require workers to take holiday
  • cancel a worker’s holiday, if they give enough notice to the worker

[There are notice requirements]

Furloughed workers

Workers on furlough can take holiday…. The notice requirements …. continue to apply….the employer should consider whether any restrictions the worker is under… would prevent… resting, relaxing and enjoying leisure time, which is the fundamental purpose of holiday.

Bank holidays

… No statutory right to time off for bank holidays….

Where necessary, employers can require workers who would usually take bank holidays as holiday to work instead…

Furloughed workers

… furlough will be unaffected by the bank holiday.

However, if the worker would usually have had the bank holiday as annual leave, there are 2 options.

The bank holiday is taken as annual leave

… the bank holiday can be taken as annual leave…, the employer must pay the correct holiday pay…

The bank holiday is deferred

If … agree[d] ..the bank holiday will not be taken as annual leave… the worker must still receive the day of annual leave… This …can be deferred till a later date…

Holiday pay

The amount of pay … received by a worker … should reflect what they would have earned if they had been at work and working…. in line with current legislation… based on a worker’s usual earnings.

Where a worker has regular hours and pay, their holiday pay would be calculated based on these hours. If they have variable hours or pay, their holiday pay is calculated as an average of the previous 52-weeks of remuneration excluding weeks in which there was no remuneration.

Furloughed workers

… an employer must calculate and pay the correct holiday pay in accordance… legislation – Where …above the pay … on furlough, the employer must pay the difference… the employer can continue to claim the 80% grant

Carrying leave forwards: how new legislation has changed the rules

..to protect workers from losing their statutory holiday entitlement (The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations … enable workers to carry holiday forward where the impact of coronavirus means that it has not been reasonably practicable to take…., the untaken amount may be carried forward into the following 2 leave years… employers must give workers the opportunity to take any leave that they cannot carry forward before the end of the leave year.

BEIS Guidance
Holiday entitlement
and pay during
coronavirus (COVID-19)

PAYadvice.UK 15/5/2020

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