Calculating holiday entitlement for nursery employees

Calculating holiday entitlement for nursery employees

While we all look forward to our holidays, calculating holiday entitlement for staff can be difficult and confusing, especially if you have part-time workers.

Holiday entitlement for a full-time employee is 28 days or 5.6 weeks paid leave per year. There is no statutory entitlement to paid leave for public holidays. Any right to paid time off for such holidays depends on the terms of the employment contract. If your nursery is closed on a public holiday, then you can include the public holidays as part of the statutory 28 days or 5.6 weeks holiday entitlement.


The holiday entitlement due to employees depends on the number of days that they work. This is where the confusion arises. Holiday entitlements for a full-time employee are based on the number of days a week they work, not the hours that they work.

For example, if an employee works five days a week and seven hours a day, they are entitled to 28 days holiday. If an employee works five days a week and two hours a day, they are also entitled to 28 days holiday. They will only be paid for the hours they would have normally worked.


5 days a week 28 days
4 days a week 22.4 days
3 days a week 16.8 days
2 days a week 11.2 days
1 day a week 5.6 days

If you have included the bank holidays in the calculation, then more confusion arises. Let me explain.
At the beginning of the holiday year, you will need to look at which days the bank holidays fall on. Most are Mondays. You will then need to look at all employees who work four days or less, and if a bank holiday falls on a day they normally work, you must deduct that from their holiday entitlement. Once you have deducted all of these, you will then be left with the days they can then take as holiday for the rest of the year.

Part-days cannot be rounded down, they can only be rounded up. Or you may want to consider letting the employee come in late one day, or finish early.


If you currently give employees who work less than five days a week all eight bank holidays, then you are giving them too much holiday, which means an additional cost to the nursery. It also means they have more holiday than employees who work five days a week. Interestingly, if an employee works more than five days, the holiday entitlement does not increase.

You have to ask yourself – can your nursery really afford that additional cost?

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