Holidays, Hours and Wages


- As an employee you're entitled to four weeks paid leave per year.

- How much you get depends how much you work - working five days a week equals 20 days leave a year. Working four days a week equals 16 days leave.

- A few people aren't covered, e.g. members of the armed forces, the police and trainee doctors but, generally, if you're paid to work you're paid to have fun, too.

Holiday entitlement.

- There are rules about how much warning you have to give your boss before you can take your holiday.

- If your employer wants you to take your holiday at a particular time, then s/he must give you warning of twice the period of leave to be taken.

- Bank holidays are included in the four weeks' statutory paid leave, unless your company decides to give you them on top of your four weeks' statutory paid holiday.


If you're over 18 you only have to work a maximum 48-hour working week.

If you're under 18, still at school and working there are some legal restrictions on your hours. You're not allowed to:

- Work before 7am or after 7pm

- Work for more than two hours on a school day or for more than one hour before school

- Work for more than eight hours on Saturdays or holidays, or two hours on Sundays

- Work for more than 35 hours a week during the holidays

Whatever your age you're entitled to rest breaks while you're working, and if you work for more than eight hours a day you must have a one hour break.

Minimum Wages

- The national minimum wage (NMW) means nearly all workers are entitled to a minimum hourly wage.

- You're covered if you're a casual labourer, an agency worker, a homeworker, you're on a short-term contract or working for a subcontractor.

- The minimum wage depends on your age and your employment status.

- The standard hourly rate for workers aged over 22 is 4.50, rising to 4.85 from October 2004.

- The standard hourly rate for workers between 18-21 and workers over 22 on the trainee rate is 3.80, rising to 4.10 from October 2004.

- The minimum hourly wage for 16 and 17 year olds will be 3, but this will not be introduced until October 2004. Until then there is no minimum wage for under 18s.

Unfortunately, you're not covered if you're:

- Under 18 (although this changes in October 2004 - see above)

- An apprentice aged 19-25 in the first year of your apprenticeship. But you'll qualify for age-related NMW after that - unless you become a trainee.

- If you're living and working within a family - as a nanny or au pair, for example - and sharing meals without having to pay towards your accommodation or food.

- Self-employed

- A member of the armed forces

- A share fisherman

- A prisoner

- A voluntary worker

- A trainee on a government scheme

Back to Career Advice

 Follow new jobs on Twitter

Featured jobs
Recruiter Job Title Job Location Job Salary
 Nursery Nurse Required  Walton on Thames - Surrey - South East (Excl London)  Unspecified

Sponsored links