According to a recent survey by Totaljobs, a third of working Brits don’t know how much annual leave they are entitled to. 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?

Everyone who is employed in the UK is entitled to paid leave whatever their role or number of hours worked.

New research from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) shows that more than two million UK workers are not getting the minimum amount of paid leave they are entitled to.  More than half of those are not getting any paid leave at all. 

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

Most employees 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.

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 NHF/NBF today for less than 75p a day – you’ll wonder what you did without us!

Part-year and zero-hours workers

Part-year (eg 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.

Client Experience

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 bank holiday days in your employees’ entitlement. 

Recruiting & Employing People Guide

Our guide to recruiting and employing people is available to NHF/NBF 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 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.

Guide to absence management

This Members-only guide explains what procedures you should have in place if an employee is off work due to sickness, injury or any other reason. 


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.

Salon and barbershop annual leave checklist

• Every UK employee is entitled to annual leave.
• Most full-time 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.

Free legal helpline for NHF/NBF Members

The NHF/NBF understands the legal and commercial complexities of running your own hair, beauty or barber business and offers Members a free 24/7, 365 days a year legal helpline for hair and beauty employment and HR issues.

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.

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