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I recently received a letter from my employer's HR department telling me that they've given me too much paid leave and they would like the additional money back, however, we are disputing the actual amount I owe as I'm getting two different answers from two different areas of the company about whether the figures are correct or not. My regional office's HR guy (who passes information up to HR at head office to pay us) is saying that we accrue holiday on our paid leave, but the number of leave hours I've accrued according to HR at head office does not include any time I would've accrued while on leave.

To clarify, I work part-time, six days a week with a minimum of four hour shifts and our leave is worked out as roughly 12% of the hours we earn, so for working 100 hours, I'd accrue 12 hours of annual leave which can be broken down to three days at 4 hours each or less should I claim more, say two days at six hours each, and I can theoretically take as many days off as I like provided I have enough leave left.

Does the law state that I accrue holiday on the hours of paid leave I ask for? Or would this be something the company decides to include the hours of paid leave when calculating how many hours of leave I've accrued? I've checked my contract but it doesn't mention anything about it.

I've found plenty of information on this concerning unpaid leave and sickness, but not paid leave which was approved beforehand.

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It depends on your employment contract

There are lots of legal ways of accruing leave. See https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-holiday-entitlement/y

And also the way your company’s accruals system works.

Within each type of leave, accrual can be calculated on hours worked or hours paid with different rates giving the same (typical) outcome.

  • It's not explicitly stated in my employment contract but after asking a fairly decent sample of colleagues they are all saying/assuming we do include paid leave, so I've emailed HR for a straight answer. Maybe they've changed the terms of the contract as I know some colleagues have slightly different terms in their contracts so it could've been a change that happened just before I started working here. – Jamie Mar 16 at 12:29
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For the purposes of Statutory entitlement (i.e. the legal minimum) annualised leave entitlement is based on the hours worked, not hours paid.

the UK Government Holiday Entitlement calculator says "The result will only be accurate if the hours in the worker's contract do not include holiday. "

Your company is, however, allowed to offer you more leave than the statutory minimum. So the way 'You' accrue holiday is a matter of personal legal advice.

  • This answer is only correct if leave is based on annualized hours - it may not be see gov.uk/calculate-your-holiday-entitlement/… – Dale M Mar 14 at 21:39
  • @DaleM "our leave is worked out as roughly 12% of the hours we earn" sounds like annualised hours to me. – JeffUK Mar 15 at 7:11
  • could be, could also be hours worked per week or compressed hours – Dale M Mar 15 at 7:39
  • Hours /worked/ per week, the answer is the same, compressed hours you don't 'accrue' holiday in the way OP describes – JeffUK Mar 15 at 10:44

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