You’ll want to make sure your salon or barbershop employees take all their annual leave, but how should you deal with bank holidays, maternity leave and days you’re not open? And what about part-time workers and new employees who are still in their probationary period?

This blog post covers:


Annual leave

Who is entitled to annual leave?

Workers in the UK are entitled to paid leave whatever their role or number of hours worked.

Always follow best practice and strongly encourage your employees to take all of their annual leave. Send out regular reminders - especially as the leave year comes to an end. This will prevent employee burnout and will be in the best interests of both your employee and your salon or barbershop. 

Annual leave for full-time salon or barbershop employees

Workers are legally entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday each year. This means an employee working five days a week in your hair/beauty salon or barbershop would be entitled to at least 28 days’ paid leave, inclusive of bank holidays.

This is worked out by multiplying five days by 5.6 weeks (5 x 5.6) which gives 28 days holiday.

28 days holiday is the maximum statutory holiday entitlement. Therefore, if you have an employee that works 6 days a week, they are not entitled to additional entitlement. 

Find out how holiday pay should be calculated for employees who work overtime on a regular basis.

Annual leave and part-time employees

Use the same calculation to calculate your part-time employees’ annual leave – this will be pro rata depending on how many hours/days they work each week.

For example, someone who works part-time three days a week would be entitled to 16.8 days paid annual leave per holiday year.

This is worked out by multiplying three days by 5.6 (3 x 5.6) which equals 16.8.

You cannot round down holiday entitlement, but you can round up – so it would be best to round this up to 17 days.

Our friendly membership team can help you calculate your employees’ annual leave entitlement and also answer a wide range of queries relating to running your hair/beauty salon or barbershop business. Find out more and join the NHBF today for less than 80p a day – you’ll wonder what you did without us!

Part-year and zero-hours workers

Part-year (e.g. term-time) and zero-hours workers are entitled to paid annual leave.  However, working out their entitlement and pay can be tricky.  Always get legal advice to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.

Annual leave entitlement for new employees

Your new employee will be entitled to annual leave during their probationary period. However: in the first year you can allow your employee one month’s leave entitlement at a time. This means that you can limit use of holiday until it’s accrued. 

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Annual leave and maternity leave

Employees continue to build up their annual leave entitlement while they are on maternity leave. Maternity leave cannot be treated as annual leave – they are two separate entitlements.

Find out more about maternity and paternity pay in our blog post.

Annual leave and bank holidays

Employers can choose to include bank holidays as part of their employees’ 28 days holiday entitlement.

For example, in England there are usually eight bank holiday days a year, including Christmas, Easter and the May bank holidays. These would be included in the total 28 days’ holiday.

By the way – employees are not legally entitled to take off public holidays (including Christmas day) as paid leave. So if, for example, your salon is normally open on Good Friday, your employees are not automatically entitled to have that day off as paid holiday. This applies even if you include the bank holiday days in your employees’ entitlement. It’s important if the employee works on a normal bank holiday that the leave entitlement remains available for them to use at another time.

Our guide to recruiting and employing people is available to NHBF Members only.  Find out more and join us today

Annual leave and sick leave

An employee’s entitlement to annual leave will not be affected if they take time off sick. Their holiday entitlement will still build up in the same way while they are off sick.

Any holiday entitlement that isn’t used during the year because your employee has been off sick must be carried over to the next year.

Your employee can ask to take annual leave when they’re off sick. For example, they may ask to do this if they don’t qualify for sick pay.

However: you cannot force your employee to take annual leave instead of sick leave.

If your employee is ill while on annual leave and therefore unable to have the benefit of the leave period, they can take the time as sick leave instead and reallocate their leave to another time. Your employee must report their absence at the relevant time in accordance with your absence reporting procedure. The would also need to give you a doctor’s sick note if they are off sick for more than seven days in a row. They can ‘self-certificate’ for up to seven days.

The Members-only absence management guide explains what procedures you should have in place if an employee is off work due to sickness, injury or any other reason.  Not yet a Member? Find out more and join for less than 80p a day.

Annual leave and days your salon is closed

Your employee cannot be asked to take annual leave on days your salon or barbershop is normally closed. If your hair or beauty salon or barbershop is always closed on Monday, your employees cannot work on that day and this means you cannot make them take Mondays as annual leave.

When the Monday you normally close falls on a bank holiday, you still cannot make your employee take annual leave even if you include bank holidays as part of your employees’ annual leave entitlement. This day of leave should remain available for the employee to use at another time.

Telling employees when to take annual leave

An employer can give an employee notice to take statutory annual leave on specific dates, but the notice given must be twice as long as the amount of leave the employee is required to take i.e. 10 days’ notice to take 5 days holiday.

Annual leave when your employee resigns

Your employee is entitled to payment in lieu of any untaken leave they build up before leaving your employment.

Can I force my employee to take their annual leave during their notice period?

Whether you can force your employee to use up any outstanding leave during their notice period will depend on what is set out in the wording of the employment contract. If the contract states that an employee may be required to take accrued holiday during their notice period, then you can use this provision.

Alternatively, you could give notice for the employee to take holiday as detailed above. However, due to the notice requirements, this might not work out for notice periods depending on the length of notice to be given.

Salon and barbershop annual leave checklist

  • Every UK employee is entitled to annual leave.
  • Workers are entitled to 28 days annual leave per annum, pro rata for part-time employees. .
  • New employees are entitled to annual leave, including while they are on probation.
  • Annual leave continues to build up while an employee is on maternity leave.
  • Employers can include bank holidays as part of an employee’s annual leave entitlement.
  • Employees are not legally entitled to take off public holidays as annual leave.
  • Employees cannot be asked to take annual leave on days you are normally closed.
  • Employees can choose to take annual leave when they are off sick, but employers cannot force them to.

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This indispensable legal backup provides Members with sound and practical advice on how to deal with a range of common employment issues, from contracts, apprenticeship agreements, absence and holidays, to redundancy, managing staff performance and maternity arrangements. Join us today.