Annual Leave Entitlements
Annual Leave Entitlements
Employees are entitled to a minimum of four weeks annual holidays after their first year of employment. This is a minimum entitlement but you can agree to give them more leave if you choose.
Employees can request to “cash up” some of their annual leave. If you don’t want to give employees the ability to “cash up” their annual leave or transfer public holidays, then issue a policy informing them of your position. This policy can apply to the whole of your business or to just some parts of the business and not others. If you agree to transfer a public holiday, be aware that the holiday must be transferred to a day that would otherwise be a working day for the employee in question and that the day cannot be taken on another public holiday.
If an employee wants to apply for leave, ask them to fill in and sign a leave form (download a sample here). Then keep a copy in the employee’s file as proof they requested that leave. Having that form on file will protect you from any later disputes.
Annual Leave Payment
The key is to ensure the employee is paid correctly when they take annual holidays or when their employment ends. If you’re paying someone for annual holidays you should pay the greater of their ordinary weekly pay at the time the holiday is taken or their average weekly earnings over the last 52 weeks.
Employees are allowed a minimum of five days paid sick leave after they’ve been working for you for six months continuously. Then after that they get an additional five days paid sick leave every 12 months. Sick leave can be used when an employee is sick or injured, or when the employee’s spouse or a dependent person (such as a child or elderly parent) is sick or injured and needs care. Can an employer ask for proof of sickness? Yes you can. You can ask for proof of sickness or injury within three consecutive calendar days (without being reasonably suspicious regarding misuse of sick leave). You must let them know that proof is required as early as possible and meet the employee’s reasonable expenses in obtaining the proof (if you require proof after 1 day’s leave).
Employees are entitled to three days paid bereavement after the first six months of continuous employment for the death of an immediate family member. Where there are multiple bereavements, the employee is entitled to three days bereavement leave for each one. In the event of a death not in the immediate family, an employee is entitled to one day of paid leave if the employer accepts that the employee has suffered bereavement. If you have any questions the Employment Relations Info line is able to provide information on managing sick leave and bereavement leave. The Info line can be reached on 0800 20 90 20.
Once you have agreed on parental leave arrangements with your employee, the employee should make the application for paid parental leave to Inland Revenue as soon as possible.
For more information regarding leave, download our employers handbook
Employees are entitled to a minimum four weeks holiday (20 days) annually after the first year of employment. Some employers opt for five weeks annual leave.
The three most common scenarios for paying staff over the holiday period are:
(1) the payroll is processed on the normal paydays over the holiday period and staff work the days in between Christmas and New Year and annual leave is taken later in the year.
(2) Employees are paid out for all their annual leave in full before they go on holiday.
(3) Employees are on holiday until the 9th January (or longer) but are paid each week on the normal pay days.