Will you breach your employees’ annual leave rights next year?

Listen up! If your annual leave year runs from 1st April to 31st March you may unknowingly breach your employees’ annual leave rights next year. Here’s why…

In 2018 and 2019, the unusual way in which the Easter bank holidays fall will reduce some of your employees’ statutory leave by one day.

Which employers will be affected?

The shortfall will only affect you if your annual leave year runs from 1st April to 31st March, and if you offer employees 20 days’ holiday plus bank holidays.

Let’s do the math

Employees working a five-day week are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ annual leave, which equates to 28 days’ leave per year. These 28 days can include bank holidays, which usually amount to eight per year.

Why are 2018 and 2019 different?

We could make it sound complicated, but we won’t. The problem arises because the Easter break straddles March and April.

Specifically, in 2018 Good Friday is on 30th March and Easter Monday is on 2nd April. In 2019 Good Friday is on 19th April and Easter Monday is on 22nd April.

This means there is no Good Friday bank holiday within the holiday year running from 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019, so employees will lose out by one day.

You’ll be breaking employment laws

It doesn’t matter how many bank holidays there are in a holiday year, if you give your employees fewer than 28 days’ annual leave you’ll breach the Working Time Regulations 1998. And if you’ve stipulated that your employees are entitled to ‘20 days’ holiday plus bank holidays,’ you’ll also be in breach of contract. Ouch.

Don’t get caught out

The bottom-line is that you must stay true to the 28 days’ annual leave entitlement. This may mean topping up your employees’ holiday entitlement for the leave year running 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019. Or you could negotiate with your employees to agree a variation to the terms of their contracts.

If you do need a spot of advice, get in touch. We’ll make sure both you, and your employees, don’t lose out.

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