Holiday pay changes: what it means to the education sector

The holiday pay changes provide welcome clarity about the holiday that term time only workers are entitled to.

It will be remembered that the Supreme Court in Harper v Brazel effectively outlawed the pro-rating of holiday for term time workers according to the proportion of the year that they work, resulting in employers having to “top up” holiday to at least 5.6 weeks for term time only staff. In some cases this meant that term time only staff were effectively afforded more holiday, proportionately, to their all year round colleagues.

This nuance has now been addressed by the new regulations which means that from the holiday year commencing after 1 April 2024 (so from 1 September for most schools) term time workers can have their holiday calculated with reference to the proportion of the year that they actually work. What this means in practice then is that (subject to any necessary contractual changes being made and agreed where required), employers can revert back to the previous way of calculating holiday entitlement.  Where an employer’s holiday entitlement is 28 days for full time all year-round staff (including bank holiday entitlement), this means that you can calculate holiday by using the calculation: 12.07% of hours actually worked. Employers do not then need to “top up” holiday to 5.6 weeks if using the 12.07% calculation as it means that the worker ends up with less holiday than this.

A typical calculation for calculating holiday for term time workers is therefore as follows:

Contracted working weeks: 39 weeks to be working during term time

Holiday entitlement: 39 x 12.07% = 4.7 weeks

Total weeks worker should be paid for = 43.7 weeks

However, the regulations do create some work for employers who employ term time only workers. As a result of the new regulations, employers will need to ensure that where term time only workers are paid a salary which includes pay for holiday, their contract of employment should clearly state how much holiday they are paid and make it clear when workers will be deemed to take this.

We have produced some wording which will suffice for this purpose. If you would like this wording, please get in touch with Annie Gray on, who can discuss this with you. For subscribers of our Just Teach advice service, this will be provided complimentary.