Alternative holidays for working public holidays
If an employee works on a public holiday they are entitled to be paid time and a half for the hours they work and if it is an otherwise working day for the employee they are also entitled to another day off on pay. This alternative holiday recognises that the employee has missed out on having a day off work on a day of national significance and enables them to take a day off at another time.
This provision includes employees working shifts and some employees on call. Both types of employees get the full day off, even if they only work for a small part of the day.
The alternative holiday can be taken at any time mutually agreeable to the employer and employee, and is paid at the employee’s relevant daily pay or average daily pay (where applicable) for the day taken off.
As of 1 April 2011, if an employer and employee cannot agree when an alternative holiday is to be taken, the employer may determine the date, on a reasonable basis. The employer must give the employee at least 14 days' notice of the requirement to take the alternative holiday.
If any alternative holidays are outstanding at the end of employment, these are paid out at the rate of pay for the employee’s last day of work, i.e. the relevant daily pay or average daily pay.
Alternative holiday may be exchanged for payment
If an employee does not take their alternative holiday within 12 months of becoming entitled to the alternative holiday, the employee and employer can agree for the alternative holiday to be exchanged for payment. In this instance, the payment for the alternative holiday is to be agreed between the employer and employee and must be paid as soon as practicable once the agreement has been made.
Where an alternative holiday does not apply
Where an employee:
- works on a public holiday and that day would not otherwise be a working day, or
- is on call on a public holiday but is not required to restrict activities, or
- is only employed to work on public holidays
there is no entitlement to an alternative holiday.