Many agency workers are not convinced they understand how the holiday is accrued and how many days exactly they are entitled to when working on temporary basis. Please keep on reading if you would like to find out more on holiday pay and entitlement.
How is it calculated?
As a temporary worker you should receive at least 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year pro rata. This is the statutory entitlement that all employers must provide as an absolute minimum.
As an agency worker, your hours and pay may vary considerably over time depending on the hours you have worked each week. If this is the case, your earnings over the most recent 12-week period are divided by the hours worked over the same 12 weeks to give you an average hourly rate and determine your holiday pay. If you did not do any work at all in one or more weeks, you simply discount that week and move to the week immediately before it, until you have a total of 12 weeks’ work and pay on which to work out your average hourly rate.
(Note that the government plans to change the law. From April 2020, holiday pay for workers whose pay varies will be averaged over 52-weeks instead of 12.)
If you are not satisfied and feel your holiday entitlement is incorrect, please speak with your consultant or the accounts team and they will be happy to investigate and look into the matter.
Possible changes after 12 weeks.
It is worth knowing that your holiday entitlement may change after completing 12 weeks of work.
In addition to your statutory holiday rights under the Working Time Directive, agency workers have extra rights under the Agency Workers Regulations. In particular, since 1 October 2011, temporary agency workers have had the right to the same holiday entitlement (pro rata to their hours) as a comparable direct hire employed by the hirer to do the same job. This right applies once the agency worker has completed a 12-week qualifying period.
For example, if the hirer’s employees are doing the same job as you are and they are entitled to 35 days’ holiday a year, you will also be entitled to 35 days, once you have completed the 12-week qualifying period.
If you work part-time, your leave entitlement can be calculated on a pro rata basis. In other words, your entitlement will be proportionate to the hours you work. For example, if you only work six months rather than a complete year, you will be entitled to half the annual entitlement.
After qualifying for equal treatment (after 12 weeks), you should be treated the same as the hirer’s employees when requesting and being permitted to take holidays. You will also be entitled to equal treatment on enhanced pay for working on bank holidays or public holidays, and the right to time off on bank holidays or public holidays.
Please remember you must take your holiday in a period called a ‘leave year’. Your contract or Written Statements will say when that begins and ends. It might not be the same as the calendar year (e.g. April to March)
Help and Advice
Your recruitment agency should be your first point of contact if you are concerned about your holiday pay or benefits. At Direct Response Employment we explain all your rights upon registration and all workers who have joined Direct Response will have this information in writing in their Assignment Details and in the agency workers handbook.