For too long unscrupulous employers have exploited a loophole in the law which allows them to include public and bank holidays as part of the statutory four week paid annual leave entitlement.
This is now set to change. From 1st October 2007 statutory annual leave entitlement will increase to 4.8 weeks (24 days for a 5 day week) and to 5.6 weeks (28 days for a 5 day week) from 1 April 2009.
As the annual leave year starts at different times for different groups of workers, the new entitlements have been worked out on a proportionate basis. This means that the benefit of the additional leave is applied on a pro-rata basis from 1st October 2007 depending on the proportion of your current annual leave year that follows this date.
You will see from the ‘ready reckoner’, produced by the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, attached as Appendix A, that further increases are then made incrementally up to April 2009.
To work out precisely how many days you are entitled to, multiply the number of weeks by the number of days you usually work a week.
Example 1: In 2007/08 your annual leave year starts on 1 February and you work 4 days a week. The calculation is 4.27 weeks x 4 days = 17.08 days
Example 2: In 2007/08 your annual leave year starts on 1 April and you work 5 days a week. The calculation is 4.4 weeks x 5 days = 22 days.
Example 3: In 2008/09 your annual leave year starts on 1 June and you work 5 days a week. The calculation is 4.93 weeks x 5 days = 24.65 days.
•Appendix A (pdf)