Annual leave for variable hours staff - guidance for managers on calculating


Variable hours staff accrue annual leave instead of being paid in lieu of leave as they would do if they were on a casual contract. However the issue then arises how can this possibly be calculated? It can be calculated retrospectively based on the number of hours worked by a member of staff over a finite period of time and taking this as a proportion of an equivalent full time, annual leave entitlement for a position on the same job evaluation grade.

To do this line managers need to keep up to date and accurate records of the on-going number of hours claimed by their taff and over what precise time periods. Many managers already do this though for their own internal budgeting purposes.

Calculation formula

Examine over the contract period completed to date the time (in hours) that a person has worked.

Annual leave allocation for support staff, for example, with less than 3 years continuous service is 25 days per annum which is 185 hours plus 13 bank holidays and concessionary days which is 96 hours. The total leave allocation in hours for a full time member of staff working 52 weeks per year is 185 hours + 96 hours = 281 hours. This means for each hour of work performed a person will earn 281/52weeks/37 hours = 0.1460498 hours of annual leave.

Multiply 0.1460498 by the number of hours worked to find out home many hours of annual leave have been earned.

For example

• Scenario 1

A Student Ambassador (SA) works 12 weeks of the forthcoming semester. And during that time, does 150 hours work. This SA then asks for annual leave with pay over Xmas and wants to know how much they have?

Leave earned per hour * no. of hours worked = leave entitlement
0.1460498 * 150 = 21.9 hours leave.

• Scenario 2

A Support Worker has worked part way through the semester and worked over 6 weeks; and during that time they have worked a lot less than was originally intended (only 25 hours). This worker then informs you that they want to know if they have accrued any paid leave at all as they’d like to attend an event?

Leave earnt per hour * no. of hours worked = leave entitlement
0.1460498 * 25 = 3.65 hours leave.

• Scenario 3

A Student Ambassador (SA) was given a seven and a half month fixed term, variable hours contract for the period 25/09/2006 – 18/05/2007 (the 2006/07 academic year) which equates to 33 weeks. This SA has done a lot of hours worked - 330. This SA then asks for all the annual leave with pay that they have accrued to pay for their summer holiday and wants to know how much they have?

Leave earned per hour * no. of hours worked = leave entitlement
0.1460498 * 330 = 48.2 hours leave.


N.B. the length of the contract and the number of weeks do not influence the calculation, all you need to know is how many hours have been worked. Leave should only be taken once it has been accrued to ensure that staff are not in the position of owing the University money.

In conclusion

In the spread sheet AL calculation for variable hours staff, you will find all three of the above scenarios calculated and the formulas that are in place will enable you to calculate all leave entitlements simply by inputting the requisite data.

For all these scenarios, the staff concerned would submit their usual claim form for the hours they wish to claim and line managers would sign them off and submit as normal. This seems the best practical approach to paying staff for accrued leave.