Holidays and Rest Periods (Statutory Minimums)

Guidance note 2 to the EMPLOYMENT (JERSEY) LAW 2003                    

This statement is intended to explain to employers and employees the principal requirements of the Law. It is not intended to cover all the requirements of the Law, nor does it represent a statement of the Law

Updated to reflect changes effective January 2022 (such changes are shown in italics).

Minimum Rest Periods and Annual Leave

(Part 3 Articles 10 to 15)

Rest Periods and Annual Leave (part 3 Articles 10 to 15) Minimum Rest Periods

Regulations effective from 1 January 2022 entitle employees who work 6 hours or more a minimum break of 20 minutes during their working day - this can be paid or unpaid;  and

Employees are entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of not less than 24 hours in each 7 day period. If the employer and employee agree in a relevant agreement (i.e. a collective agreement or individual contract), an employee will be entitled to either:

a) two uninterrupted rest periods each of not less than 24 hours in each 14-day period, or

b) one uninterrupted rest period of not less than 48 hours in each 14-day period.

  1. The starting point of a 7 or 14 day period is defined as 00.01 hours on a Sunday although a different starting point can be specified in a relevant agreement i.e. a collective agreement or other such legally enforceable agreement.

A rest period will be considered to have been interrupted if either  contractually, or due to business requirements the employee is required by the employer to do one of the following on their rest day:

 (a) to be available for the employer for the purpose of undertaking a work-related action; and

(b) to attend the employer's workplace or be at or near that workplace

 2.  If the employee's rest day is interrupted, compensatory rest must be made available at the earliest opportunity within 14 days of the rest days that were interrupted. If the rest day is not interrupted by one of the above requirements, no  compensatory rest will be required.

3.  An employee can lodge a claim at the Tribunal in respect of uninterrupted rest periods and receive a  compensation sum of up to 4 weeks pay. (1 April 2017)

Annual Leave

4.  Leave year, an employee is entitled to a minimum period of  weeks paid annual leave (or a longer period if specified in a relevant agreement) plus paid leave on Christmas Day, Good Friday and on  Public and Bank Holidays (that fall on an employee's normal working day including Saturdays but not Sundays).  If the employee has been required by their employer to work, days off with pay in lieu of these, as specified in a relevant agreement.

5. Leave year can begin on a date specified in a relevant agreement (e.g. January 1st or April 1st) or if no date is specified, it is taken to have begun on the date employment started and on each subsequent anniversary.

6.  Employment commences part way through a leave year (and at least 28 days before the end of the leave year) then in the first year the employee has a pro-rata entitlement (e.g. if the leave year commences on January 1st and an employee starts work on June 1st, they would be entitled to 7/12ths of the annual entitlement in their first 7 months of employment).

7.  Making pro-rata calculations, the amount of holiday due should be calculated in days, each part day being rounded up to a whole day. In the example in paragraph 6 above, an employee working a 5 day week with the minimum entitlement of 3 weeks holiday would be entitled to 7/12ths of 15 days i.e. 8.75 days (rounded up to 9 days) before December 31st of the year in which they started work.

 8.  It is permissible in a relevant agreement to set down the notice to be given by both the employer and employee in regard to the taking of annual leave. The Minister has made no such Order, as yet, in regard to any other circumstances.

 A week's pay

9.  In determining what a week's  pay is for paid holiday purposes, where a person is paid a regular wage for the hours normally worked, then a week (or a day) of paid holiday shall be the same as they would have been paid had they been at work under their contract of employment.

If, however, pay is variable depending on the amount of work done in normal working hours then the amount to be paid will be calculated by working out the average hourly rate of pay for the previous 52 weeks (see 11 below). All such calculations are to ignore any commission or similar variable payment.

If working hours vary from day to day, week to week or month to month so that the amount paid varies, the average number of weekly hours shall be the average for the past 52 weeks and the average hourly rate of pay shall be the average hourly rate for the previous 52 weeks (see 11 below).

(Note that in abnormal situations e.g. reduced pay during sickness or enhanced pay for some reason, where the calculation would be distorted, the calculation should take account of the normal situation that would ordinarily have existed).

  1. Some contracts of employment contain no "normal" hours. In such cases a week's pay for paid holiday purposes, starting on the first day of the period of leave, will  be the average weekly pay for the previous 52 weeks during which some payment has been made i.e. weeks in which no payment was made should be discounted (see 11 below), providing that continuous employment, as defined in Article 57, applies.

  2. In cases where the employee has not been employed for a long enough period for the average wage to be determined as in 9 & 10 above, the calculation should be undertaken fairly in a manner as close to the formula above as is possible. If the calculation results in a figure below the minimum wage, then the minimum wage rate prevails.

Annual Leave on termination of employment

  1. On termination of employment an employee shall be entitled to receive payment in lieu for that proportion  of the paid holiday not already taken (or any greater sum specified in a relevant agreement).

If the employee has taken more holiday than their service in the year allows at the time of termination, then the employer is entitled to receive from the employee payment equal to the excess holiday taken (or any sum that is less and is specified in a relevant agreement).

E.g. If an employee is entitled to 20 days holiday with pay each year then each whole month of service equates with 20 ÷ 12 days entitlement i.e. 1.67 days holiday with pay. In calculating pro rata entitlement, it is important to know when the "holiday year" begins (e.g. January 1st). If the holiday year runs from January to December and the notice period ends on 30th June, the employee's proportional entitlement for the six months worked during the "holiday year" would be calculated as: - 6 (months) x 1.67(days) = 10 days paid holiday for the period January 1st to June 30th.

In this example if the employee has only taken 5 days holiday, then in addition to the relevant notice period they would be entitled to 10 - 5 = 5 days' pay in lieu of holidays not taken.

If, however, in the same example, at the date employment is terminated they have taken 15 days holiday then the employer is entitled to receive payment from the employee equivalent to the 5 days excess holiday taken.

December 2023

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