Calculating Part Time Holidays

I am often asked by clients how to calculate holidays for part time employees. This can be confusing and a little tricky – especially where employees work different hours on different days or do not have any fixed hours of work.

So here is a short explanation. You may want to grab a cup of coffee, a calculator and piece of paper to work through this.

The minimum statutory holiday entitlement that is set out in statute is 5.6 weeks. This equates to 28 days, if an employee works a five- or six-day week (i.e. 5 days worked x 5.6 weeks).

Holidays for part time employees should be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Part-time workers who work the same hours each day: simply multiply the number of days they work each week (if they work the same number of hours each day) by the 5.6 working weeks to give you their annual holiday entitlement.  For example, if a part-time employee works 3 days per week you would multiply 3 days x 5.6 weeks = 16.8 (round up to the nearest half day = 17 days).

Part-time workers who work different hours on different days: I would recommend you calculate the annual holiday entitlement in hours. To do this multiply the total number of hours they work each week by the 5.6 working weeks.  For example, if an employee works 4 hours on a Tuesday and Wednesday and 5 hours on a Thursday and Friday (a total of 18 hours per week) their holiday will be 18 hours x 5.6 weeks = 100.8 (rounded up = 101 hours per week). Every time they take a day off you deduct this from the total holiday hours.

But what about bank holidays?

Let’s assume that you do not open on a Bank Holiday. If a public holiday falls on one of their normal working days and like the rest of the workforce they take the day off, then the public holiday is deducted from their holiday entitlement. 

However, you would not make a deduction if the part-timers normal working day does not fall on the public holiday.

So, let’s take two examples:

An employee’s normal working days are Monday – Thursday working 5 hours per day. Their annual entitlement is therefore 4 days per week x 5.6 weeks = 22.5 days per year. As they work on a Monday, when there is a bank holiday on a Monday this day will be deducted from their entitlement. They will not be deducted for Good Friday as this is not one of their normal working days.

A second employee works Tuesday to Friday working 5 hours per day. Their annual entitlement is the same 4 days per week x 5.6 weeks = 22.5 days per year. Because they do not work on a Monday, when there is a Monday bank holiday this will NOT be deducted from their entitlement. However, Good Friday will be deducted from their entitlement.

Useful tip: It is always better to state the holiday entitlement in working weeks in the contract of employment and not in days. If for whatever reason you do state it in days and you forget to state that holidays for part-time employees are calculated on a pro-rata basis, then your part time employee would have the right to the full 28 days or however many days you have stated in the contract (which, for example if they worked 4 days a week would give them 7 weeks holiday!).

If you do struggle with holidays, you may want to consider using and its holiday/absence module. This calculates holidays for employees (based on days or hours) and allows employees to manage holiday/absence online. The module will also calculate part years annual leave entitlement i.e. if someone joins or leaves part way through the holiday year. There is also the function for managers to authorise or decline holiday online.

Angela Dansey.

You can contact Angela on

If you feel that you need guidance or advice on this matter, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email Angela on the above.