Leave Laws and Holidays in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has several laws and regulations governing holidays and leave. These laws are designed to protect workers’ rights and ensure that they are able to take the time off to which they are entitled.

Annual Leave Entitlement in the UK

All workers in the UK are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ worth of paid annual leave per year. This includes bank and public holidays. Workers can take their annual leave at any time, including during school holidays.

Workers are entitled to paid annual leave from their first day of employment. They accrue leave entitlement throughout the year and can carry over up to four weeks’ worth of unused leave into the next year.

Bank Holidays in the UK

There are eight bank holidays in the UK:

  • Boxing Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Summer Bank Holiday
  • Spring Bank Holiday
  • May Day
  • Easter Monday
  • Good Friday
  • New Year’s Day

Workers are entitled to take these holidays off from work, and they are entitled to be paid their usual rate of pay for any hours that they would normally have worked.

Workers are also entitled to take unpaid leave on days that are not bank holidays.

Other Leave Entitlements in the UK

There are a number of other types of leave that workers may be entitled to, depending on their circumstances. These include:

Maternity, Paternity, and Adoption Leave

Maternity leave is a period of time that a pregnant woman is entitled to take off from work. This leave can start up to 11 weeks before the baby is due. After the baby is born, the woman can take up to 52 weeks of leave. This leave can be taken all at once or split up into blocks of time.

Paternity leave can start up to 8 weeks before the baby is due. After the baby is born, the father or partner can take up to 2 weeks of leave.

Adoption leave is a period of time that an employee can take off from work to care for a child who has been placed with them for adoption. During this time, the employee is entitled to Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) from their employer.

Sick Leave

Most people in the UK are entitled to 5-6 weeks of paid sick leave each year. This is known as statutory sick pay (SSP).

Compassionate Leave

Another type of leave entitlement is compassionate leave, which can be used in the event of bereavement or other serious personal circumstances.

Jury Service Leave

Jury service leave is a type of leave that is typically granted to employees who are summoned for jury duty. In the United Kingdom, employers are not legally required to provide this type of leave, but many do so as a matter of company policy.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, there are a number of statutory requirements to consider when it comes to leave laws and holidays in the United Kingdom, as well as employers deciding what else they want to provide above and beyond those requirements. (See also: Employment Law Changes in the United Kingdom)


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