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MAY 28/2019

Healthcare Professionals: What are my Rights to Holiday Pay as an Agency or Locum Worker?

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While being a healthcare professional is a truly rewarding career, time off during the year is very important. However, there are some agency nurses and locum doctors who do not know that they are entitled to holiday pay, nor do they know how to calculate the amount of holiday pay they are due.

So how does holiday pay work if you operate through an agency and how much time off are you entitled to over the course of a year?

Holiday Pay for Agency Workers

Holiday entitlement for agency workers

All agency workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday every year.

As an agency worker, your statutory holiday rights are covered by the Working Time Directive. You also have additional rights under the Agency Workers Regulations which apply once you have completed a 12-week qualifying period. It states that temporary agency staff must have the same holiday entitlement as those employees hired directly by the employer to perform the same role.

This means that if you perform the same duties as a hired worker who receives 30-days holiday a year, then you must receive the same amount of time off.

To calculate your holiday entitlement, please click here.

Do umbrella companies pay holiday pay?

If you work through an umbrella company, holiday pay for agency workers is mandatory. This is because you are an employee of the umbrella company, therefore, you are entitled to the same statutory rights as any other employed worker, meaning that you should receive 5.6 weeks of paid holiday every year.

Some umbrella companies (and even agencies) actually ‘roll up’ your holiday pay into your normal hourly rate, however, this is actually against the law. Holiday pay should be paid out at the time annual leave is taken.

This is why it is vital that whoever you are employed with – umbrella or agency - you check if holiday pay is ‘rolled up’ and if it isn’t, you claim the holiday pay as and when you need it.

Agency Nursing Pay Rates

Do limited companies pay holiday pay?

If you work through your own limited company (also known as a personal service company), claiming holiday pay may not be tax-efficient, especially if you are the sole employee. Directors are under no obligation to pay themselves holiday pay.

However, if more than one person operates through the limited company, the same statutory rights granted to directly hired workers would apply to those in non-director roles. These include 5.6 weeks of holiday and holiday pay.

Find out more

If you would like to learn more about your holiday pay rights as a Medacs Healthcare agency nurse or locum doctor, check out our Payment FAQs page or contact our Finance Payroll Team via email or call +44 (0) 1756 702 226 or 0845 340 876 and select option 3.

Discover more in our agency nurse and locum doctor finance series.

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