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Pay for alternative holiday

What should an employee get paid for an alternative holiday?

An employee receives their relevant daily pay or average daily pay for the day taken as the alternative holiday. For example, if an employee became entitled to an alternative holiday for working on Easter Monday and they take the alternative holiday on the following Friday, they will be paid the amount that they would have received had they worked on that particular Friday, or their average daily pay for the day (if applicable).

Payment for an alternative holiday, depends on when the employee takes the day off, it has no bearing on how many hours the employee actually worked on the public holiday . An employer should attempt to calculate the employee’s relevant daily pay in the first instance.  The average daily pay may be used when it is not possible or practicable to determine relevant daily pay, or if the employee’s daily pay varies within the pay period when the alternative holiday is taken.

The alternative holiday can be taken at any time mutually agreeable to the employer and the employee.  If the employer and employee cannot agree when the alternative holiday is to be taken, the employer may determine the date. The employer must have a reasonable basis for choosing when it is to be taken. The employer must give the employee at least 14 days' notice of the requirement to take the alternative holiday.

If an employee does not take their alternative holiday within 12 months of becoming entitled to the alternative holiday, the employee and employer can agree for the alternative holiday to be exchanged for payment. In this instance, the payment for the alternative holiday is to be agreed between the employer and employee and must be paid as soon as practicable once the agreement has been made.

Alternative holidays do not expire, therefore, any alternative holidays that are outstanding when an employee’s employment ends, these are paid at the employee’s relevant daily pay, or average daily pay if applicable, for their last day of work.

Click here to find out how to calculate relevant daily pay and click here to find out how to calculate average daily pay

Click here for further information on alternative holidays

Use our Holidays and Leave Tool to work out entitlements for public holidays, and sickness and bereavement leave.

Date Modified: Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Disclaimer: The content on this website covers common problems. It will not answer every question and should not be used as a substitute for legislation or legal advice.State sector employers and employees may be affected by some differences in the laws that apply to them (e.g. State Sector Act 1988).The Department of Labour takes no responsibility for the results of any actions taken on the basis of information on this website, nor for any errors or omissions.