Holiday FAQs

The information below refers to the requirements under the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003.

Is there a standard leave entitlement?

All employees (regardless of the type of contract they are on) are entitled to a minimum of 3 weeks paid annual leave per year, plus paid time off on Public and Bank Holidays, or alternative time off in lieu if required to work on such days (click here). 

The written statements must detail entitlement to holidays and give sufficient detail of the arrangements, rate of pay etc.

Holiday accrues on a month by month basis so that, after say 4 months of employment, an employee will be entitled to 4/12ths of their annual entitlement.

The holiday entitlement is in terms of weeks, not days. On this basis, for an employee working five days a week, the minimum entitlement corresponds to 15 days annual leave. A part-time employee, working three days per week, would have the right to 9 days paid annual leave.

However, employees will be entitled to more than the statutory minimum paid holidays if their contracts provide them with more leave.

Can employers specify when leave should be taken?

Yes, for example, for a Christmas shutdown. Otherwise, employees are entitled to choose their leave dates subject to giving notice and any other company rules. Such rules should be notified to employees in company documentation, or in the company handbook.

What is a normal weeks pay for holiday entitlement?

The law specifies a "normal week's pay. For example:-

  • an employee with regular working hours would receive what they would earn for a normal working week
  • an employee whose normal working hours vary from week to week, would receive the average hourly rate of pay over an average of their normal weekly working hours over the previous 52 weeks (or a lesser period if they have not worked 52 weeks); or
  • an employee with no normal working hours would receive an average of the pay received over the previous 52 weeks (or a lesser period).

Is there a statutory entitlement to bank and public holidays?

Yes, an employee is entitled to paid time off on bank and public holidays or alternative time off, with pay, if required to work.

The written statements must detail the entitlement to public holidays and give sufficient detail of the arrangements, rate of pay etc.

For more information, please click here.

What should happen when employees leave?

When employees leave employment they should be paid for any untaken holidays, calculated on a pro-rata basis, in the current leave year in accordance with the procedure set out in the legislation. 

Similarly, if the employee has taken more leave than they are entitled to on termination, the employer can recoup the excess from the employee by a monetary payment.

What happens when Liberation Day falls on a weekend?

There has been some confusion as to how employers should treat Liberation Day when it falls on a weekend. 

The Public Holidays and Bank Holidays (Jersey) Act 1952 states that Liberation Day is observed as a Public Holiday if it falls on a weekday a weekday includes Saturday. Therefore when May 9th falls on a Saturday, this is a Public Holiday and any employee who works on that day is entitled to an alternative day off in lieu.

As the law does not provide for an alternate day for Liberation Day (unlike say Boxing Day it is not a "moveable" Public Holiday), those who worked Monday to Friday receive no additional day off (unless their employer had entered in to an agreement that gave them an extra day off irrespective of the law).

The Law Officers Department has considered this issue and has given us permission to give guidance based on their conclusion. The advice is particularly clear and is helpful in that it also covers the position of full and part-time employees in relation to Bank/Public Holidays generally, not just Liberation Day. While the full response was lengthy, the conclusion of the advice now received is:

"1. All employees have a statutory entitlement to Christmas Day, Good Friday and all Public and Bank Holidays.

2. If these days fall on a day an employee is normally required to work the employer has one of two options:

   (a) allow the employee the day off work, but pay them as normal; or

   (b) require the employee to work; and 

               (i) pay them for that day's work; and

               (ii) allow the employees a paid day off in lieu.

3. If these days fall on a day an employee is not normally required to work (i.e. it is scheduled as a rest day or they work part-time) the employee:

   (a) is already receiving the benefit of the day off work; and accordingly

   (b) they are not entitled to a paid day off in lieu under Article 11(1)(b)(ii) because they are not required to work;

4. The above comments must be considered in the light of any collective agreement; any express term of an individual contract of employment which may apply and any weight which should be applied to long-standing custom and practice."

 In the light of the above, we are now confident we can properly advise our contacts that those employees who work Monday to Friday do not have a statutory entitlement to an additional day off in lieu when Liberation Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday unless specifically provided for in a relevant collective agreement or in their individual terms of employment.

Part-time and shift work employees, entitlement to public/bank holidays

Finally, we have also received clarification of the statutory rights of employees who work shifts, and part-time employees regarding Public/Bank Holidays, as follows:

When an employee is not required to work on a Public Holiday because it falls on a rostered rest day; or on a day that they are not normally required to work (part-time employees) they cannot be said to be entitled to "leave" under Article 11. Nor then are they entitled to payment for that day either under Article 13".

Good practice 

If an employer operates its Bank Holiday rules in accordance with the minimum provisions of the law, those working shift patterns whose rest day falls on a Bank Holiday will not receive additional compensatory time off, whereas those employees rostered to work on such days will receive time off in lieu. This inequity could cause unrest in the workplace and, consequently, a number of employers have chosen to allow all such employees to have a day off in lieu of each Public Holiday (including May 9th when it falls on a Saturday) irrespective of whether they are sheduled to work or take a rest day.  Indeed, some collective agreements negotiated with trade unions provide for this to happen.

Similarly, a number of employers have agreed that part-time employees should receive pro-rata time off for Public Holidays equivalent to their pro-rata hours of work. E.g. if full-time hours are 40 per week a part-time employee working 20 hours per week receives 50% of the paid Public Holiday time off. This is perfectly acceptable provided that  the part-time employee is not required to work on more than half of the Public Holidays - if they are so required, then they should receive paid time off in lieu equivalent to the number of Public Holidays actually worked.

Liberation Day falling on a Sunday

As Sunday is not a "weekday" as defined in the Public Holidays and Bank Holidays (Jersey) Act, when May 9th falls on a Sunday it will not be a Public Holiday and there will be no statutory right to a day off in lieu for any employee who works on that day, unless there is an agreement in place with their own employer.

Note: all of the above follows legal advice received. Employers should note it is only an opinion and the Tribunal may not be of the same view (in the case of Renehan v G4S in 2006 the Tribunal reached a different conclusion to that expressed above). This matter will only be finally clarified if the Employment (Jersey) Law 2003 is appropriately amended or if the Royal Court has reason to make a ruling on this question.

Can employees carry over leave? 

Where leave entitlement exists, there is no legal right to carry leave entitlement over from one leave year to another unless the contract allows for it or the employee is on parental leave.

Jan 2022

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