Holiday Entitlement for my Personal Assistant

This article includes:

  • How Much Holiday are They Entitled to?
  • How Do I Find Cover?
  • Do I Have to Pay my PA?
  • Can I Decline a Holiday Request?

Every employee is entitled to time off as a legal requirement. As you are now employing a personal assistant, it is your responsibility to ensure that your carer is taking their allowed holiday.

Full-time employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday each year. However with the nature of care work, determining appropriate holiday entitlements can get tricky, especially if your PA works variable hours.


How do I calculate my employee’s holiday entitlement?

To avoid having to use guesswork and just a few inputs around your personal assistants contracted hours across the year, the calculator automates holiday entitlement calculations aligned to legal requirements using the 12.07 multiplier method.

The 12.07 method calculates holiday entitlement by multiplying your PA’s average weekly working hours by 12.07. This accounts for the minimum 5.6 weeks of statutory leave they are legally entitled to per year. Our calculator seamlessly applies the 12.07 multiplier to efficiently and accurately determine your PA’s holiday time off based on averaged hours.

 Annual Leave Entitlement Explained

Do I have to pay my carer for their holiday entitlement?

This depends on whether your carer is classed as employed rather than self-employed. An employed carer is entitled to holiday pay at their standard rate whereas a self-employed carer is not.

I am going on holiday and don’t need my carer, do I have to pay them still?

Should you decide you don’t need your carer on holiday because you are going away with family members or friends and therefore do not require additional care, you may be entitled to pay your carer still.

If your carer is your direct employee, you likely need to pay them for any previously scheduled/agreed-upon hours.

If they are self-employed, then you are not entitled to pay.

Either way, you should inform your carer with as much warning as possible. Your self-employed carer may wish to find work elsewhere for the week and your employed carer may choose to utilise the week by completing some extra training.

If you are still unsure, you can contact ACAS on 0300 123 1100.

In addition to this, if you do require your carer to come on holiday with you then this may be something you can arrange with them.

I don’t need my carer over Christmas as I have family staying, what do I do?

During the Christmas period, you may require your personal assistant to take time off. However, this should be clearly outlined in their employment contract, and they must be provided with sufficient notice.

How much notice does my employee need to give me when requesting time off?

It is always best to encourage your carer to give you as much warning as possible. This gives you time to arrange for additional care in their absence.

A minimum of 2 weeks warning is often enforced in many workplaces. ACAS suggest giving twice the amount of warning as the time you need off. For example, if your carer needs a week off, they should let you know 2 weeks in advance.

You can ask your PA to fill out a holiday request form and hand it into you, this one is from Skills for Care.

Download Sample Holiday Request Form Access the file from Skills for Care

Am I allowed to decline holiday requests if it doesn’t suit me?

You do have the right to refuse a holiday request with good reason. You must give your carer enough warning that you are going to have to refuse it.

Similarly, if you approved your carer’s holiday but now need to cancel it you must give them as much warning as possible.

How do I find a replacement for my carer whilst they are on annual leave?

When using an agency to provide your care you must let them know at the earliest opportunity and they will arrange for another carer to cover your personal assistant’s annual leave.

If you source your own carer(s) then you can ask if your other carer can cover the holiday. If this isn’t possible then you can contact an agency and let them know you only need holiday cover.

How many rest breaks should I give my employee?

If your carer works for more than 6 hours a day, then they are entitled to one 20-minute break. This can be paid or unpaid and is up to you to outline in their contract.

You must also ensure that they are getting 11 hours of rest between shifts. For example, if they finish work at 9 pm, they can’t start work until 8 am the next day.

When does the holiday year start and finish?

There are a few different ways you can approach this.

Firstly, you can set a ‘leave year‘ which is a fixed date that your employee can use their holiday entitlement before it refreshes.

This can be from the start of the year and run from January to December being the last month they can take it. Some organisations run it from the financial year but this can vary slightly from year to year. Others may choose to use your employee’s start date as a ‘leave year’

Can they carry their holiday over to the next ‘leave year’?

This is up to you! You can create a relevant agreement with your personal assistant and this should be outlined in their employment contract. You should, however, encourage your carer to take their holiday entitlement to ensure that they are having the relevant breaks to continue to deliver the highest quality of care.


The information and files provided are intended for signposting purposes. We strive to keep them up-to-date, but it’s the user’s responsibility to double-check the latest versions and information directly on the referenced websites.

Websites used include: Skills for Care,