March 2nd, 2019 / Insight posted in Articles

Reminder: Calculating holiday pay for irregular hours workers for schools

Up until March 2018, employers calculated workers’ accrued holiday pay on the basis that holiday pay accrues at the rate of 12.07% for every day worked.

With effect from March 2018, this figure must be replaced by 17.5% for term time employees and workers at independent schools who work irregular hours.

The calculation is as follows:

The working year = 46.4 weeks

The working year for independent schools is 32 weeks – this figure can be substituted if your school has a different number of weeks in its working year


46.4 ÷ 32 weeks = 1.45
1.45 x 12.07% = 17.5%

Is this discrimination against workers with regular hours?

It has been recognised that this could be a result of this method of calculation.

However, whilst there is a duty to make sure that part-time workers do not receive any less favourable treatment than their full time counterparts, there is no duty to make sure that less favourable treatment does not happen to employees or workers with regular hours.

Employers should not therefore be concerned about discrimination claims from full time workers or employees on this basis. They should simply apply the correct calculation where necessary.

Do I have to change the way I calculate holiday pay for all staff?

Only for those workers and employees who work irregular hours. The 12.07% figure should still be used for workers and employees with regular hours, whether part-time or full time.

How Kingston Smith HR Consultancy can help

The calculation of holiday pay can be difficult and, with new cases coming out on a regular basis. It is important to get the calculation right to avoid claims for an unauthorised deduction from wages. We strongly advise moving away from using zero hours contracts and instead using casual worker agreements.

Should you require any assistance with establishing the correct calculation to use, with calculating holiday pay or information regarding casual agreements, please contact Kingston Smith HR Consultancy on 01708 758958.