Calculating holiday entitlement for variable hours staff

Variable hours employees should be given a standard Chancellors, Masters, and Scholars contract of employment, including the paragraph concerning hours of work for variable hours employees. The annual leave paragraph explains that the leave entitlement is 38 days per annum pro rata for part-time staff.

Calculating leave entitlement

Annual leave is accrued as a percentage of each hour worked.  It is calculated as follows:

  1. convert the leave entitlement from days into weeks
  2. subtract the number of weeks entitlement from the number of weeks in the year (ie 52) to give the number of potential weeks that can be worked during the year
  3. divide the number of weeks leave entitlement by the number of weeks of potential work, and
  4. multiply this by 100 to give a percentage.

As an example, for a member of staff with 38 days leave entitlement this would be:

  • 38 days leave  =  7.6 weeks' leave entitlement
  • 52 minus 7.6 = 44.4 potential weeks that can be worked during the year
  • 7.6 divided by 44.4, multiplied by 100 = 17.1%

Therefore for every hour worked 17.1% of that hour is accrued as leave entitlement.

The calculation of accrued entitlement should be made at each pay period (week, month or term depending on how the person is paid) and added to a running total in the year.

The variable hours employee should request to take leave in the same way as any other employee, and be subject to the same management approval. They should have accrued enough holiday to cover the leave they are requesting. Holiday should normally be requested in a minimum of ½ day amounts. The hours holiday to be taken should be submitted to Payroll in the same way as for hours worked, and a record kept that the hours are for holiday.

Variable hours employees should not carry forward holiday into the next year but if, exceptionally, they do need to do so (for example because of illness) they may carry forward no more than 5 days in line with the arrangements for other staff.

Holiday pay must be associated with an actual period of absence from work.  It may not be paid as an additional salary (this is referred to as "rolled-up" pay where holiday pay becomes in effect a pay supplement. Rolled-up pay is no longer legally allowed. The only exception is that untaken holiday may be paid when a variable employee leaves.