I have a zero hours contract. Am I entitled to paid holiday?

Yes. As a minimum you qualify for statutory holiday, which is a minimum of 5.6 weeks' paid holiday each year, reduced pro rata to the hours that you work. You build up a right to holiday with every hour that you work, although during the first year of working, you must build up your holiday before you are allowed to take it. Some employers do not operate this rule. Check the holiday procedure where you work.

The government has developed an online tool to help workers on irregular hours to calculate their holiday entitlement. Browse our section on holidays for more information.

As a zero hours contract worker, you are working 'part-time'. This means you have rights to protection under the Part-time Workers Regulations. In particular, you have the right to be treated 'no less favourably' than your full-time colleagues who are doing the same job as you when it comes to pay and holidays – including the rules on taking holidays, such as the amount of notice you must give, and when you must take your holidays. Your employer must be able to justify any differences in treatment, and the reason they give must be unrelated to your part-time status. Browse our section on part-time workers' rights for more information.

This means that in general, you should get the same holiday pay and be subject to the same holiday rules as apply to full-time workers where you work.

At the end of the contract, your employer must pay you for all the holiday you have built up, but not used, during the holiday year.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.