Moving jobs and holiday pay

Consider holiday days when moving jobs

Great you've got a new job! Now for all of the admin that goes with it. There is one headache that most people do not consider and that is the amount of holiday pay that they're owed/ owe.

Do I owe holiday days?

You might be thinking that you're unlikely to owe any holiday days given that you couldn't possibly use up more holiday in a year than your contracted allowance. Unfortunately the reality is that you can, quite easily. 

Let's say that you are allowed 20 days of holiday per year and your holiday allowance runs from 1st January until 31 December. Let's also assume that your last day of employment with your current employer is 30 June. By the time you leave you've taken a three week vacation using up 15 days of your holiday. As you've left exactly half way through the year then you were only entitled to 10 days holiday rather than 15 (half of the allowed 20). The result is that you will owe your employer for the five additional days of holiday that you took. Be aware - there are special debt collecting Companies out there used by employers to collect the debts from former employees who've enjoyed too much time in the sun. 

Am I owed money for holiday days not taken?

You could be! It's fairly simple to calculate how much you are owed. Much like the calculation above you first need to work out how many holiday days you were still entitled to before you left. Let's assume the same details as the above example only this time you only took 5 days of holiday instead of your entitlement to 10 days before you left. Your former employer owes you money for those days not taken.

To work out the amount owed to you search the internet for a UK (or search for your relevant country) salary calculator. Type in your total salary before tax and fill in all relevant bits of information such as pension contributions and benefits received. The calculator should tell you what your daily earnings are after tax. Take that daily net income figure and multiply it by the number of holiday days that you're still owed. This should be the amount of money after tax that you should prompt your employer to pay you.

Note of caution to job movers:

Most employers are quite good at paying employees what they're entitled to. Regardless, in the weeks leading up to your leaving it is worth emailing your Company HR/payroll team to communicate the fact that you are expecting payment for those holiday days not taken. I got just over £1,300 when I left my recent job - a nice bonus that I'd earned!

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