The BVNA IRS Helpline regularly receives telephone calls from VNs asking us to confirm how much holiday they are entitled to as they work part-time hours.

How many days holiday should i get?

All employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks paid annual leave which is equivalent to 28 days for someone working five days a week (capped at a statutory maximum of 28 days for all working patterns).

Part-time workers are entitled to the same level of holiday pro rata (so 5.6 times your usual working week, i.e. 16.8 days for someone working three days a week)

Under the Working Time Regulations, holiday cannot be replaced by payment in lieu; the only exception being on termination of employment.

The confusion seems to arise because this figure can be inclusive or exclusive of public holidays and depends on the terms of your employment.

How do I calculate holiday entitlement?

For a basic calculation of your leave allowance, you need to multiply the number of days you work a week by 5.6.

5 days x 5.6 weeks = 28 days

Regardless of your working pattern, the minimum leave entitlement is capped at 28 days. So if you work a six-day week, the statutory entitlement of 5.6 weeks will still be 28 days.

For part-time workers the calculation is the same. Multiply the number of days you work a week x 5.6

3 days x 5.6 weeks = 16.8 days

Practices should ensure that part-time staff are not being treated less favourably than full-time staff.

Some practices calculate the holiday entitlement in hours. This is usually used for workers on casual or irregular hours. This means that your holiday entitlement accrues as the hours are worked. The holiday entitlement is just over seven minutes for each hour worked.

The holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks is equivalent to 12.07% of the hours worked.

To calculate your entitlement you need to multiply 12.07% by the number of hours worked.

12.07% x 10 hours = 1.21 hours or 72.6 minutes 


Members of the BVNA can contact the IRS Helpline for free advice and support.

Call 01822 870270 or e-mail


Nicky Ackerley BA(Hons)

Nicky Ackerley HR Support is owned by Nicky Ackerley who has a BA [Hons) Business Studies Degree, is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and who has been a practising HR manager for over 20 years. HR Support Consultancy has provided the BVNA's Industrial Relations Service since it began in 2002.

• VOL 28 • January 2013 • Veterinary Nursing Journal