Holiday Pay Explained

'How does Holiday Pay work?'


Good question! Sorry it's not a simple answer.


Holiday Pay, thanks to the European Working Time Regulations (WTR) can be a complicated subject when it comes to Temporary Work but we'll do our best to explain it.


WTR provide that all workers receive a minimum of 28 days off in the working year. For those on an annual salary this is a fairly straightforward exercise and, when a day's holiday is taken, there is no change to gross pay at the end of the month.

With Temporary Workers, however, it can be a little more complex. Basically, because holiday is accrued from the first minute of the temp assignment, the worker is entitled to 'holiday' from the moment he or she starts the job. More practically, this means that 'temps' accrue just over half a days holiday every week.

However, what is a 'week'?

  • Some of our temporaries team work 40 hours weeks and others may only do 8 or 10 hours 'part time'.
  • Some work regular hours for a number of weeks but then take school holidays off to look after their children.

It's all part of the flexibility of 'temp' work, but it does mean that the length of the working week may vary from job to job.

So, WTR looks at your 'average' working week over the last quarter and calculates the monetary value of a 'day'. This would be easy if everyone started their assignment on a Monday and worked 8 hours a day, but temping isn't like that!

If you work on the 'half a day a week' rule, you will not be far wrong.

Basically, Anne Jagger Recruitment will accrue Holiday Pay in line with the WTR requirements and ensure that you are paid the correct amount when you have a day off. This normally has to be requested and authorised in order that we can provide cover if the client requires it.

WTR is a Health and Safety requirement to ensure that workers have time off. It is not a 'savings scheme' and we are not allowed to pay it in lieu of time off. There are certain types of pay that do not qualify for WTR accrual, such as Bonus Payments or Overtime, as well the Holiday Pay element itself.

So, as we said, it's a bit of a minefield but please ring your consultant if you are unsure how much Holiday you are entitled to and they will get back to you with a figure.

Happy Holidays!