A third of workers don’t understand their annual leave policy – so make sure you do

Do you know your holiday rights?

We might be in the midst of winter and planning our escape to sunnier climates, but a recent report has revealed that a third (33 per cent) of British workers don’t actually understand their annual leave policy, according to latest research from online recruitment firm, Totaljobs.

But not knowing exactly what you’re entitled to is only going to be to your detriment. After all, your employer won’t mind if you miss some holidays and spend more time in the office.

Regardless of what role you are in, however, all workers in Britain are entitled to annual leave. So whether you are working full, part time or irregular hours, statutory entitlement is a right for all workers. Statutory entitlement means full time workers (five days a week) are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of annual leave every year.

Part-timers’ annual leave is calculated pro-rata. These holidays can legally be taken at any time of the year, but bear in mind there is also no legal right to paid public holidays – so yes, that does mean you could be working Christmas Day if the job requires it.

The Government states that workers also have the right to get paid for leave; accrue holiday entitlement when they are off sick; request holidays at the same time as sick leave and accrue holiday entitlement during maternity, paternity and adoption leave.

Burnout risk

David Clift, HR Director at totaljobs said: “It is alarming that such large numbers of UK employees are struggling to manage their annual leave allocation.

“UK workers are working long hours in uncertain economic conditions, so the risk of burnout is very real if workers can’t establish a work-life balance.”

But despite having the legal entitlement to more or less take your holidays whenever you choose, the research by Totaljobs, which spoke to more than 7,000 people to explore their attitudes towards holidays, found that there are five types of people: the Half Termer who books holidays around the school holidays; the Workaholic who doesn’t take their full entitlement; the Last Minute Booker who give less than a month’s notice; the Super Planner who gets their leave dates a year in advance; and the Frequent Flyer who travels frequently for work.

Clift adds: “Booking annual leave around your colleagues and employer’s existing commitments can be a minefield, so it is important workers devise their plan armed with as much information as possible. We have identified five types of UK annual leave booker and have created some top tips we hope will take the stress out of booking well-deserved time off for UK workers.”

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