What is the holiday entitlement for homeworkers?

Everyone at work is entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks' paid holiday a year (reduced pro rata for part-time hours).

The position is complicated for homeworkers who often do not have any set hours, or are paid for ‘piece work’, or have hours that vary considerably over time. Weekly holiday pay should be the average weekly pay that you earned over the last 12 weeks. If you didn't receive any pay in any week or weeks during the last 12, you count back to earlier weeks until you have a total of 12 weeks on which to work out your average weekly pay.

(From April 2020, the government plans to change the law so that where your pay and hours vary, your holiday pay will be averaged out over a 52 week period, instead of the current 12 weeks.)  

Note that employers can quite lawfully count bank holidays towards your paid leave entitlement.

In the past, some employers tried to get out of paying holiday pay by saying that your hourly pay rate already included holiday pay and that they therefore did not have to pay you if you took a holiday. However, as a result of a decision by the European Court of Justice, this practice is now unlawful, and homeworkers have a legal right to be paid for those days when they take holiday.

If in doubt about your entitlement, seek further assistance from your union or from an advice agency such as your local Citizens Advice.

Alternatively, you can call the free Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100 for advice.

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.

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