NHS Holiday Entitlement: All Your Questions Answered

Whether you’ve worked in the NHS for a while or are new to the institution, you may have some questions about your NHS holiday entitlement. Everyone would agree that working for the NHS is far from easy, so it is important that you make the most of your NHS holiday entitlement and don’t miss out on any days off that you’re entitled to. 

NHS holiday entitlement can be a bit confusing as the rules will differ depending on how many hours you work and how long you have worked for the NHS. Some employers summarise how to work out holiday entitlement with a holiday entitlement calculator, whereas others might ask you to request holidays in advance. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? But don’t worry! We have put together this blog with everything you need to know. 

We’ve put together all of your most frequently asked questions, from NHS holiday entitlement information to your guide to bank holidays in the NHS.

NHS Holiday Entitlement

How many annual leave days do you get in the NHS? 

The number of statutory holiday entitlement days, or annual leave entitlement days, you will get as an NHS worker will differ depending on your previous NHS service and whether you work full time staff or are part time staff. As a member of staff with no previous NHS service who is working full-time hours, you are entitled to 202.50 hours of annual leave. Depending on how many hours you work a day, this is roughly 27 days of holiday (plus eight bank holidays). However, employees who have worked within the service for five years get 29 days of holidays and eight bank holidays.

When does the annual leave year start? 

The NHS holiday entitlement year starts on 1 April and ends on 31 March every year.

How many hours is full-time NHS? 

Full-time hours in the NHS is a standard working week of 37.5 hours. There is no set number of hours for a part-time role in the NHS. Part-time work refers to any worker who is contracted for anything less than the full 37.5 hours for a full-time. 

How many days of annual leave NHS 10 years? 

The longer you work for the NHS, the more annual leave holidays you will be entitled to. Employees with ten years of service in the NHS get an increased entitlement of 33 days and eight bank holidays. 

Do NHS staff get public holidays? 

All NHS staff are entitled to eight public holidays pro rata basis. However, depending on the requirements of your role, you may need to double-check with your line manager about whether you will have to work on a public holiday. Public holidays include boxing day and in 2022 included extra bank holidays for the platinum jubilee. 

How much annual leave can I buy – NHS Holiday Entitlement? 

Up to 37.5 hours of NHS holiday entitlement is available for you to buy back. This is available pro-rata for part-time employees. You should discuss and agree on this with your manager, as they will be required to approve any application for you to buy back any annual leave. 

We also recommend that you ensure that you can use all of the leave that you buy in the coming year, as you will not be able to sell it back later.

Do you get paid sick days in NHS? 

Organisations such as the NHS have an occupational sick pay scheme which means that you are given your full pay when you are sick. However, this may only apply to so many sick days per year, so you should ask your line manager or check your contract for terms and conditions.  

Can NHS employees take unpaid leave? 

NHS employees that have worked within the service for 26 weeks or more are entitled to two weeks of paid leave at the statutory rate. Extended unpaid special leave is also available for a maximum of 18 weeks over a period of five years. This leave can be taken either in one continuous period of leave or can be used over more than one occasion.

Multiple periods of leave can be taken unpaid through their employment as long as the total does exceed the five years maximum. Each requested break must be submitted as a new application to your manager for approval. 

NHS Discount Holidays

Now that you have all the information you need about your NHS holiday entitlement, we have all the holiday offers you need to make the most of your time off. Check out our NHS discount holidays below!

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