December 17, 2014

Could the 2015 calendar affect you?

Many businesses adopt the months of April to March as their standard holiday year. However, sometimes Easter falls twice during a ‘leave year’, which will impact an employer’s responsibility to provide the minimum amount of statutory holiday each year.

The 2015/16 leave year is such a case. A leave year begins on the first day of the first full biweekly pay period in a calendar year. A leave year ends on the day immediately before the first day of the first full biweekly pay period in the following calendar year.

The upcoming Easter will fall between 4th and 6th April 2015 and then again between 26th March and 28th March 2016.  This means that Good Friday and Easter Monday will fall twice in the 2015/16 leave year, but not at all in the 2016/17 leave year.

The minimum UK statutory holiday entitlement is currently 28 days (or 5.6 weeks) each year, including public/bank holidays. Unfortunately, this could mean that those with an April to March leave year may potentially only be providing 5.4 weeks holiday (27 days) during 2015/16, which will not meet the statutory minimum requirement.

How can employers resolve not meeting minimum statutory requirements?

Employers can consider the following to resolve this situation:

  • Review the way this problem was handled in the 2013/14 leave year and use the same arrangement again.
  • Take into account that the problem only relates to employees who receive bank holidays as fixed annual leave. Where bank holidays are normal working days and holidays are fully flexible – the problem will not arise.
  • Where you provide more than the statutory minimum of 5.6 working weeks, or give extra service leave, you can count those extra days towards the statutory minimum of 5.6 working weeks per annum.
  • If you only provide 5.6 working weeks holiday and bank holidays are fixed holidays for your staff, you will need a more creative solution. Employees could agree to reserve two days from the 2013/14 leave year to use in the 2015/16 leave year. Carrying forward leave still meets statutory provisions.
  • Another option is to consider changing your leave year if you currently operate an April to March holiday year.  You would need to consult with staff but there is no impact on an individual’s holiday entitlement, so you should not experience any problems.

Need advice? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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