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Understanding the 2024 Holiday Pay Reforms

By alisonbarlow|Mar 26, 2024|2:19 pm GMT

The landscape of employment law in 2024 undergoes a transformative change with the introduction of comprehensive reforms around holiday pay entitlement. These reforms, effective from leave years commencing on or after 1 April 2024, aim to bring about a significant overhaul in the way holiday pay is calculated, for irregular hours workers and part-year workers. This development is poised to impact a wide array of industries, including hospitality, retail and leisure, necessitating a thorough understanding and strategic planning from employers to ensure compliance and fairness.

What is changing?

Simplifying Holiday Pay Calculations

A central element of the reforms is to simplify holiday entitlement and pay calculations for workers with non-standard work patterns, such as those working irregular hours or on a part-year basis. This move is aimed at ensuring fair and equitable treatment of staff across the board.

Accrual System for Part-year and Irregular Hours Workers

Under the newly introduced framework, there is a significant shift towards an accrual system that allows part-year and irregular hour workers to accrue holiday entitlement at the close of each pay period. The accrual rate is set at 12.07% of the hours worked, marking a pivotal step towards rectifying the complexities previously encountered in calculating holiday pay for such employment arrangements.

Rolled Up Holiday Pay

The reforms also introduce the concept of ‘rolled up holiday pay’. This enables employers to opt for paying an additional 12.07% on top of every hour worked by part-time or irregular hour workers, in lieu of allocating separate paid holiday entitlement. Consequently, workers will receive holiday pay concurrently with their earnings, streamlining the process and ensuring clarity and transparency in pay slips.

Statutory Leave Inclusions

A noteworthy aspect of the reforms is the explicit inclusion of statutory leave entitlements for irregular and part-time workers, encompassing maternity, paternity, shared parental, and adoption leaves. Importantly, during such periods of absence, employees are eligible to continue accruing holiday entitlement. The legislation carefully outlines a formula for calculating the quantum of holiday accrued during these intervals, thereby safeguarding the rights and benefits of workers during their statutory leaves.

When are the changes taking effect?

For businesses that align their leave years from 1 January to 31 December, the shift towards the new holiday pay system is scheduled for 1 January 2025. For those that align their leave years to the financial year will be effective 1 April 2024. This phased approach provides employers with the essential time frame required to adjust their operational and payroll systems in accordance with the new regulations.

How can employers prepare?

As businesses navigate through the intricacies of the new holiday pay reforms, proactive measures and forward planning become indispensable. Employers are encouraged to:

  • Review and Revise Existing Policies: It’s critical to audit current holiday pay practices and policies to identify areas requiring adjustments to align with the new legal framework.
  • Enhance Payroll Systems: Upgrading payroll systems to accommodate the changes, especially in terms of the accrual and rolled up holiday pay calculations, is essential for smooth implementation.
  • Engage in Transparent Communication: Clear and open communication with employees regarding how these changes affect their holiday pay and entitlements is crucial for maintaining trust and transparency.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Given the complexity of the reforms, consulting with legal or HR experts can provide valuable insights and guidance, ensuring compliance and effective implementation.

Leveraging Technology to Simplify Holiday Pay Calculations

Employers are facing the substantial challenge of accurately gathering and recording hours worked by irregular and part-year workers. This is where technology steps in as a crucial ally.

The Role of Technology in Streamlining Processes

The utilisation of technology in managing holiday pay calculations offers a myriad of benefits, including:

  • Automated Data Collection: With a robust Time and Attendance system in place, the daunting task of manually tracking hours worked is replaced by an automated process. This not only ensures the accuracy of data but also considerably reduces the time and effort involved in its collection.
  • Integrated Systems for Seamless Operations: The integration of Time and Attendance systems with payroll processes simplifies the workflow, allowing for an efficient and error-free calculation of holiday pay. This seamless integration ensures that all relevant data is easily accessible, eliminating the complexities involved in managing disparate systems.

Fourth eClock

Fourth’s eClock is a digital time and attendance system, which ensures the actual hours worked by each employee is accurately captured, irrespective of what was initially scheduled.

Automation: Transforming Holiday Pay Management

The advent of automated systems has transformed the way holiday pay calculations are handled:

  • Accurate Calculations and Payments: Systems now have the capability to automate all calculations and payments related to holiday pay, including the critical calculation of the 12.07% of hours worked for holiday accrual and determining average hours for statutory leave periods. This automation extends to the calculation of average pay for holiday payments, leveraging data from past payslips stored within the software.
  • Elimination of Manual Administrative Tasks: By automating these calculations and payments, the reliance on spreadsheets and the risks associated with manual administrative tasks are significantly reduced. This not only enhances accuracy but also boosts efficiency across HR and payroll teams.
  • Unified Platform for All Data and Calculations: Having a single product that houses all data and performs all holiday pay-related calculations presents a substantial advantage. It provides a unified view, simplifying management and oversight for HR and payroll teams.

HR & Payroll

Fourth’s HR and Payroll platform automates holiday pay calculations, eliminating the need for manual spreadsheets and significantly reducing the admin burden on your team.  With a single, integrated solution for all payroll-related data and calculations, the entire process becomes seamless and straightforward.

Enhancing Employee Experience with Self-Service Portals

To further streamline holiday management, offering employees access to a self-service portal or app for requesting and managing their holidays represents a significant leap forward. This approach empowers employees, giving them control over their holiday requests, while also simplifying the approval process for managers. Such digital solutions promote transparency, improve communication, and enhance the overall efficiency of holiday management within organisations.


The introduction of the 2024 holiday pay entitlement reforms represents a significant step towards modernising and simplifying the calculation of holiday pay for irregular and part-year workers. By fostering a fairer and more transparent system, these changes aim to enhance the working conditions and benefits of a diverse workforce.

As employers navigate the complexities of the new holiday pay reforms, technology is a vital tool in simplifying and streamlining the entire process. From automated data collection to integrated systems and self-service portals, the application of technology not only alleviates the administrative burden but also ensures compliance with the reforms, setting a new standard for efficiency and accuracy in holiday pay management.

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This resource is not a substitute for legal advice. This material is for informational purposes only, and not for the purpose of establishing a lawyer-client relationship.