General Information

article icon

Increase in Minimum Annual Leave

28 March 2009

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTi) announced on 11 January 2007 that workers in the UK are to see their minimum annual leave go up to 5.6 weeks.

The Working Time Regulations came into effect on 1 October 1998. At the time, most publicity was focused on the 48 hour maximum working week. The regulations also created a statutory entitlement to a minimum of four weeks paid annual leave. However, as there is no statutory right to be paid for Public Holidays unscrupulous employers were able to count them as part of their annual leave entitlement. Following a sustained campaign by the Trade Unions the Labour Party included a commitment to deal with the issue in their manifesto for the 2005 General Election.

This proposal will increase the statutory minimum entitlement to 5.6 weeks meaning that full time workers get at least 28 days paid leave per year with a pro-rota entitlement for part time workers. The increase is scheduled to happen in two phases; October 2007 4.8 weeks, October 2008 5.6 weeks.

This is good news for temporary as well as permanent employees as workers supplied by an Employment Agency qualify for paid annual leave from the Agency. The entitlement starts immediately on employment for anyone employed after 25 October 2001.