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 £ 94.25 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. Simples.  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.

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 / 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)

So regardless of whether you’re 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 head-ache, 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 the multiply that by the right hours for the period.

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 times 5.6 weeks = 3.72 weeks (18.61 days)

Hours for this period: 35 hours per week times 3.72 weeks = 130.30 hours

1 September – 31 December: 122 days/ 364 days = 0.33 times 5.6 weeks = 1.86 weeks (9.30 days)

Hours for this period: 20 hours per week times 1.86 weeks = 37.2 hours

So, for the full year the total number of hours’ leave would be 167.50 hours

You can do this for as many changes in hours as you need throughout the year, and you will always get it right, and be confident to share the calculation process with your employees.

How does holiday work for zero-hour contracts?

Employees on zero-hour contracts, who don’t work the same each week or month, also qualify for annual leave pro-rata to the hours they work.  However, with everything changing on a regular basis it can seem unwieldy, so how would you do it?

You earn leave from the first hour of work, so using an hourly accrual system is the only sure-fire way to get it right.

Over the course of a year, 5.6 weeks’ leave will build up at a rate of 7 minutes per completed hour of work.

You can calculate this by taking the amount of leave over the total number of working weeks in the year (52-5.6 = 46.4) so 5.6/46.4 = 0.12 (which multiplied by 60 minutes in an hour = 7.24 minutes.

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: £148.68 or 90% of their AWE (whichever is lower) 

How much is adoption pay?

Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) for eligible employees is:

  • 90% of their gross average weekly earnings for the first 6 weeks
  • £148.68 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 £148.68 a week or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower), subject to tax and National Insurance deductions.

How much is shared parental pay?

Shared parental pay for eligible employees is £148.68 a week or 90% of your average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. This is the same as Statutory Maternity Pay (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, paternity, or adoption pay you must have 26 weeks service at the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth or date of matching with a child for adoption.

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).

What is the national minimum wage?

The rates below apply from 1 April 2019.

Category of worker Hourly rate
Aged 25 and above (national living wage rate) £8.21
Aged 21 to 24 inclusive £7.70
Aged 18 to 20 inclusive £6.15
Aged under 18 (but above compulsory school leaving age) £4.35
Apprentices aged under 19 £3.90
Apprentices aged 19 and over, but in the first year of their apprenticeship £3.90

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

The statutory cap on a week’s pay for redundancy pay purposes is £525 in Great Britain, and £547 in Northern Ireland.

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.