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How do I calculate annual leave?

The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 provides for a basic annual paid leave entitlement of 4 weeks, although an employee’s contract could give greater rights.

Under Section 19 (1) of the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 you are entitled to a basic annual paid leave entitlement of 4 weeks. There are 3 different ways of calculating your annual leave entitlement:

  • Based on the employee’s working hours during what is called the leave year, which runs from April to March. An employee who has worked at least 1,365 hours in a leave year is entitled to the maximum of 4 working weeks’ paid annual leave unless it is a leave year in which they change employment. Many employers use the calendar year (January-December) instead of the official leave year to calculate entitlement
  • By allowing 1/3 of a working week for each calendar month in which the employee has worked at least 117 hours
  • 8% of the hours worked in the leave year, subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks

An employee may use whichever of these methods gives the greater entitlement. When calculating the entitlement, employers should include all hours worked including time spent on annual leave, maternity leave, parental leave, force majeure leave, adoptive leave or the first 13 weeks of carer’s leave.

An employee who has worked for at least 8 months is entitled to an unbroken period of 2 weeks’ annual leave.