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Holiday leave rules set to change from October

All staff will get at least 24 days off, says Rehan Pasha

The minimum amount of paid holiday that employees in England, Wales and Scotland are entitled to is to rise.

At present, all full-time staff are entitled to 20 days' holiday leave a year. From 1 October the government proposes that paid leave will increase to 24 days a year and from 1 October 2008, to 28 days.

For part-time employees these increases will be pro rata.

The new legislation will affect an estimated 20 per cent of employees but the percentage of practice staff it will apply to will be significantly less.

At present, the minimum 20 days may include annual bank/public holidays at employers' discretion. If staff are allowed 20 days off plus bank/public holidays, their holiday entitlement will not rise. Confirm the new rules in writing to your staff.

- Employment law specialist Rehan Pasha is a partner at solicitors Aaron and Partners in Chester (www.aaronandpartners.com)

Annual leave changes

  • Employees will be entitled to a higher statutory minimum of paid holiday and employers will not be able to insist that bank/public holidays count towards the minimum entitlement.
  • Employers will still be free to tell staff when to take holiday.
  • You will be able to ask staff to work on a bank/public holiday, as long as you allow them a paid day off in lieu.
  • No employee will get less paid holiday from 1 October.

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