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Do you know how to calculate annual leave if an employee changes working hours through the year?

Annual leave runs from and to specific dates in a Companies holiday year. Everyone is given a holiday entitlement within their Contract of Employment. If however you have a worker who changes their hours throughout the year, would you know how to calculate the change in their entitlement?

In a recent case Greenfield v The Care Bureau Ltd. Ms Greenfield had been issued with a Contract of Employment in which it stated her hours of work would vary each week.

For the first part of the year she worked one day each week. In this period she took seven days holiday and her Employer advised her annual leave entitlement for the year had now been used up. Ms Greenfields hours of work then increased for the second part of the year and when she had a holiday request for a further week in the second part of the year, this was denied due to her holidays being used up. Her employment came to an end towards the end of the same year and at this point she claimed that her new working hours should in fact have been used to calculate that year’s entitlement.

The European Court of Justice rejected Ms Greenfield’s claim and said The Care Bureau Ltd had calculated the leave correct at the time. The leave for the first half of the year would not have to be looked at to calculate the second half of the year where working hours were increased. At the point Ms Greenfields working hours were increased going forward The Care Bureau Ltd should recalculate her entitlement to reflect her increase in hours.

For an employer this means that where an employee works different working patterns, the annual leave entitlement has to be calculated separately for each period within the holiday year and should reflect the days and hours worked. When the time comes that an employee’s days or hours are increased and you require to recalculate annual leave entitlement you may find they have used all their entitlement for that period before the increase. If this is the case, you will have to do a recalculation for going forward. This could mean the employee is entitled to more leave.

Calculating annual leave for your workers is not always simple. If you find you are struggling with this or would like advice on the subject, please contact Solve.