As part of our HR retainer service, our client’s get access to unlimited HR advice from our team of expert consultants. Below are the top HR FAQs that our consultants answer.

What is statutory sick pay?

You can get £96.35 a week Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks. You get SSP for the days you would normally have worked. Unless you’ve already had SSP within the last 8 weeks and are eligible for it again, it’s not paid for the first 3 days you’re off.

How do I pro-rate holiday for part-timers?

You must treat part-time employees no less favourably than full-time. The easiest way to manage annual leave is in terms of hours. That way, all you need to do to know that you’re giving the part time employees the right leave entitlement is multiply their hours per week by the annual leave entitlement in terms of weeks per year.

  • Leave Entitlement: 5.6 weeks per year (inc. bank/public holidays)
  • 20 hours per week = 112 hours’ leave (20 x 5.6)
  • 35 hours per week = 196 hours’ leave (35 x 5.6)

This way, whenever they take a day’s leave you simply deduct the number of hours they would have worked from the total. This is particularly useful when people work varying hours each day/shift. This works for shut downs and public and bank holidays as well, since if they’re on leave during that period you simply deduct the hours from their entitlement. If they work those periods, they take their leave at another time. If part time employees perform overtime, then you will need to seek additional advice for calculating their holiday entitlement.

How do I pro-rate holiday for starters and leavers?

Employees earn annual leave from day one of employment. If you start or leave employment during the leave year, your entitlement to annual leave will be pro-rated to the proportion of the year you work. Assuming the leave year is 1 January – 31 December, if you started on 1 July, your leave would be pro-rated as follows:

  • Proportion of the year worked 1 July – 31 December = 183 days or 26.14 weeks
  • Full-Time Entitlement: 5.6 weeks (28 days)
  • Pro-ration: 183/364 = 0.50 x 5.6 (full time entitlement) = 2.81 (weeks or 14 days)

Regardless of whether starting or leaving, the calculation is the same.

How do I pro-rate holiday if hours change mid-year?

This often causes people the biggest headache, but if you combine the two easy calculations above, you won’t go wrong. Pro-rate the leave for each of the portions of the year, and then multiply that by the right hours for the period. You can do this for as many changes in hours as you need throughout the year.

  • 35 hours changing to 20 hours on 1 September, again assuming the leave year runs from 1 January – 31 December
  • 1 January – 31 August: 242 days/364 days = 0.66 x 5.6 weeks = 3.72 weeks (18.61 days)
  • Hours for this period: 35 hours per week x 3.72 weeks = 130.30 hours
  • 1 September – 31 December: 122 days/364 days = 0.33 x 5.6 weeks = 1.86 weeks (9.30 days)
  • Hours for this period: 20 hours per week x 1.86 weeks = 37.2 hours
  • So, for the full year the total number of hours’ leave would be 167.50 hours

How does holiday work for term-time only/ annualised hours contracts?

People who work for specific periods of the year, school term times only for example, still qualify for 5.6 weeks paid leave per year. However, since they only work 39 weeks per year (revise to suit the terms of the contract in place) their gross annual salary would normally be pro-rated and paid in equal instalments throughout the year.

  • To do so, you need to add the paid weeks of leave to the paid working weeks, 39 + 5.6 = 44.6
  • Then pro-rate the gross annual salary for the paid weeks owing under the terms of the contract, 44.6/52 = 0.857692
  • This means that a £25,000 pa salary reduces pro-rata to £21,442.31 (0.857692 * 25,000) payable in 12/52 equal monthly/weekly instalments

How much is maternity pay?

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for eligible employees is payable for up to 39 weeks, usually as follows:

  • The first 6 weeks: 90% of your average weekly earnings (AWE) before tax
  • The remaining 33 weeks: £151.97 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower)

How much is adoption pay?

Statutory Adoption Pay for eligible employees is:

  • 90% of their gross average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks
  • £151.97 a week or 90% of their gross average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks

How much is paternity pay?

Statutory Paternity Pay for eligible employees is either £151.97 a week or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower), subject to tax and National Insurance deductions.

How much is parental pay?

Shared Parental Pay for eligible employees is £151.97 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. This is the same as SMP except that during the first 6 weeks SMP is 90% of whatever you earn (with no maximum).

What is the eligibility criteria for maternity/paternity/adoption/shared parental leave and pay?

To qualify for maternity or paternity pay, you must have 26 weeks service at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. 26 weeks service is also required for adoption pay, ending with the end of the child matching week.

For shared parental pay, the above is true, but the mother/primary adopter must also have curtailed their right to maternity/adoption pay allowance to qualify.

The right to maternity leave is a day one right, while paternity and adoption leave is only available to those who have 26 weeks service as above, and for shared parental leave the mother/primary adopter must have curtailed their maternity/adoption leave period, subject to the compulsory 2 weeks leave (4 weeks for factory workers).

For all statutory payments excluding redundancy but including sick pay, an employee’s average weekly earnings must be at least equal to the lower earnings limit (LEL). The LEL changes every year. The LEL is £120 in the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 tax years.

What is the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage?

The below rates are correct from 1 April 2021:

Category of worker Hourly rate
Aged 23 and over (National Living Wage) £8.91
Aged 21 to 22 £8.36
Aged 18 to 20 £6.56
Aged under 18 (but over school leaving age) £4.62
Apprentice £4.30

How much is statutory redundancy pay?

You’ll normally qualify for statutory redundancy pay if you’re an employee and you’ve been working for your current employer for 2 years or more within Great Britain, 1 year in Northern Ireland. You’ll get:

  • half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22
  • one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41
  • one and a half week’s pay for each full year you were over 41

One weeks pay is capped at £544 in Great Britain and £566 in Northern Ireland. The maximum number of years that can be taken into account is 20 years. You can’t be given statutory redundancy pay for more than 20 years’ employment.

If you would like more information on any of these topics, or another HR issue, please contact us on 0345 076 2288 to enquire about our HR support packages.