ANNUAL LEAVE: KNOW THE MATHS

WHILST DIFFERENT WORKING ENVIRONMENTS AND HOURS OFFER DIFFERENT RATES OF LEAVE, THE LAW REMAINS THAT ALL WORKERS ARE ENTITLED TO SOME DEGREE OF LEAVE FROM WORK.

ANNUAL LEAVE (OFTEN CALLED HOLIDAY OR STATUTORY WORK ENTITLEMENT) IS ACCRUED THROUGHOUT EMPLOYMENT, OFTEN RELEASED TO YOU AFTER A MONTH IF NOT IMMEDIATELY. ALL WORKERS ARE ENTITLED TO 5.6 WEEKS PAID HOLIDAY A YEAR – THIS WILL LOOK DIFFERENTLY DEPENDING ON HOW MANY HOURS A WEEK YOU WORK. FOR EXAMPLE, IF WORKING FULL-TIME 5 DAYS A WEEK, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE 28 DAYS OFF FULLY PAID. IF WORKING PART-TIME 3 DAYS A WEEK, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TAKE 16.8 DAYS OFF FULLY PAID (3X5.6)

CHECK YOUR ANNUAL LEAVE ALLOWANCE ON GOV.UK CALCULATOR

STATUTORY SICK PAY (£94.25 PER WEEK) IS OFFERED TO WORKERS:

  • CLASSED AS AN EMPLOYEE AND WHO HAVE DONE SOME WORK FOR YOUR EMPLOYER
  • WHO HAVE BEEN SICK FOR AT LEAST 4 DAYS IN A ROW
  • WHO EARN AN AVERAGE OF AT LEAST £118 PER WEEK
  • WHO INFORM EMPLOYERS BEFORE THEIR OWN DEADLINE OR BEFORE 7 DAYS IF THEY DON’T HAVE ONE

REMEMBER YOU ARE ONLY EVER REQUIRED TO PROVIDE A SICK/DOCTORS NOTE FOR AN ILLNESS THAT LASTS MORE THAN 7 DAYS! HOWEVER – IF YOU FEAR DISCIPLINE FOR TIME OFF THAT SEEMS SUSPICIOUS (E.G. IF YOU ASKED FOR THE DAYS OFF ON HOLIDAY BUT WERE DENIED, THEN CAME DOWN WITH A VIRUS ON THOSE SAME DAYS, EMPLOYERS MAY PUNISH YOU FOR FALSELY CLAIMING SICKNESS) GET A DOCTORS NOTE SO THEY HAVE NO DOUBTS ABOUT YOUR CONDITION.

CHECKING COMPANY POLICIES SURROUNDING SICKNESS IS KEY TO UNDERSTANDING HOW AND WHEN TO REPORT YOUR ILLNESS, WHICH SHOULD BE COVERED DURING YOUR INDUCTION PERIOD. IF IT’S NOT – ASK. YOU SHOULD BE TOLD WHO YOU REPORT IT TO (USUALLY THE LINE OR DUTY MANAGER) AND WHEN (EARLY MORNING/9:15/WHENEVER?).

THERE ARE ALSO SITUATIONS WHICH REQUIRE YOU TO WORK FROM HOME AND SO YOU ARE NOT TECHNICALLY ON SICK LEAVE AND SO SHOULD BE PAID IN FULL. FOR EXAMPLE, WRITING THIS IN THE MIDST OF THE CORONA-VIRUS PANIC PROVES USEFUL IN THAT MANY PEOPLE ARE NOW WORKING FROM HOME IN ORDER TO PREVENT INFECTION – THIS IS STILL CLASSED AS WORKING AND SO WILL ENTITLE YOU TO YOUR USUAL SALARY. THIS MAY BE TRUE FOR OTHER CONTAGIOUS BUT NOT SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS THE FLU, CHICKENPOX, OR A BAD COLD. WHEN REPORTING YOUR ABSENCE MAKE SURE TO STATE WHETHER IT IS SICK LEAVE OR WORKING FROM HOME – IT WILL MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PAY AND NO PAY.

PREGNANCY CAN OFTEN COMPLICATE LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS, SO MAKE SURE YOU ARE FULLY AWARE OF YOUR COMPANIES POLICIES ON MATERNITY LEAVE AND WHAT IT COVERS. IF YOU HAVE A PREGNANCY RELATED ILLNESS (MORNING SICKNESS OR NVP) WITHIN 11 WEEKS OF YOUR DUE DATE, YOUR EMPLOYER CAN TRIGGER YOUR MATERNITY LEAVE EARLY – SO YOU GET THE TIME OFF YOU NEED COVERED BY MATERNITY LEAVE NOT SICK LEAVE.

THERE IS NO LAW SURROUNDING COMPASSIONATE/DEPENDENT LEAVE – AS SUCH ALL COMPANIES WILL VARY BUT NONE ARE ENTITLED TO OFFER PAID LEAVE. HOWEVER, MOST COMPANIES WILL HAVE POLICIES SURROUNDING:

  • EMERGENCY CARE LEAVE FOR DEPENDANTS – UNPAID STATUTORY ALLOWANCE OF (USUALLY) 3 DAYS TO CARE FOR YOUR DEPENDANT E.G. IF CHILDCARE FALLS THROUGH
  • PARENTAL LEAVE – UNPAID STATUTORY ENTITLEMENT OF (USUALLY) 4 WEEKS WHICH CANNOT BE REFUSED BUT CAN BE DEFERRED FOR UP TO 6 MONTHS PER EMPLOYER REASONING E.G. IF YOU ARE ABOUT TO FINISH A BIG PROJECT THAT NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT YOU CAN BE DEFERRED UNTIL CLOSING THE DEAL