Member of the Federation of Small Businesses
Home > Payroll Facts > Payroll Glossary > Holiday Entitlement, Minimum Wage, Sick Pay, Pay and Time off work for Parents Terms

A Glossary of Holiday Entitlement, Minimum Wage, Sick Pay, Pay and Time off work for Parents Terms

Statutory Holiday Pay

From 1 October 2007 most UK workers have the right to 4.8 weeks paid holiday per year (or 24 days based on a 5 day week). This will now rise to 5.6 weeks per year (or 28 days based on a 5 day week) with effect from 1 April 2009. A part-time worker, a fixed term worker or a worker in the first year of employment, are entitled to paid holiday. There is no maximum age limit for qualifying for paid holidays. A child under school leaving age is not entitled to paid holidays.

There are some groups of workers who are not entitled to paid holidays. For a member of the armed forces, police, or civil protection services, the law does not automatically give a person the right to paid holiday. In such cases reference needs to be made to the contract of employment for rights to holiday and holiday pay.

National Minimum Wage

Workers in the UK aged 16 (and above school leaving age) or over are now legally entitled to a national minimum hourly wage, regardless of where they work, the size of the firm or the worker’s occupation. This includes casual labourers, agency workers, home workers, workers on short-term contracts and workers employed by subcontractors.

There are some workers who are not covered by the national minimum wage. These include workers aged under 16, certain apprentices, nannies & au pairs where they work and they share meals with the family and they do not have to pay towards their accommodation costs or meals, genuinely self-employed people. There are also special rates of pay for agricultural workers. The National Minimum Wage increased with effect from 1 October 2008 for:

Those aged 22 or above From £5.52 to £5.73 per hour
Those aged 18 to 21 From £4.60 to £4.77 per hour
Those aged 16 to 17 From £3.40 to £3.53 per hour

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid by employers to employees who are off work sick for at least 4 consecutive days. The employee will need to have earned above the Lower Earnings Limit (£90 weekly for 2008-09) for 8 weeks before the sick period. Further information is provided in the E14 (& Supplement) Helpbook produced by HM Revenue & Customs.

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)

This is a legal entitlement to a certain amount of pay to help a mother take time off around the time of birth and lasts for up to 39 weeks. A further unpaid period of 13 weeks is allowed as time off work. The employee will need to have earned above the Lower Earnings Limit (£90 weekly for 2008-09).

The qualifying period of employment is for a continuous period of at least 26 weeks up to and into the 15th week before baby is due. Further information is provided in the E15 (& Supplement) Helpbook produced by HM Revenue & Customs. Fathers and adopted parents are also entitled to pay & leave.

Other Payroll Glossary Pages

Holiday Calculator
Payroll from £20 a month