Am I entitled to pay on days when I do not work?

In certain circumstances, workers have a legal right to pay for time when they do not work. These are absences authorised by statute, such as paid holidays and Statutory Sick Pay.

Your contract of employment may contain clear written terms detailing other authorised absences for which you may be paid. Details will be in your contract, or in the written statement of particulars which sets out your terms and conditions of employment. Your employer must provide you with this written statement within a month of starting work. (From April 2020, your employer will have to give you this statement from the first day of your job.)

If a union is recognised where you work, there is likely to be a collective agreement in place containing these details. Ask your union rep if you are not sure.

Some statutory rights give employees the right to take time off work, but not to be paid for it. A good example is the statutory right to reasonable time off to deal with family emergencies.

Other absences count as unauthorised absence. An employer is generally entitled to deduct wages for unauthorised absence.

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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