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Does anyone deal with wages, and contracts.


Due to lower numbers this year I have had to remove holiday pay and give staff time off instead depending on the hours they do. HUGE UPROAR

this is effecting moral.


I have 9 staff for a 30 place nursery.


Can anyone help please as I am struggling on this. :o

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Guest colechin

Sorry to hear about this.


I deal with wages and contacts for my staff. We only pay for sessions the staff have worked. So they don't receive sick pay. I do still give them holiday pay (which they are entitled too).


Could you start by reducing eveyones hours, then inform them that if they are off sick or can not work a session, then they will not be paid.


Surely staff would rather be in a job then not. Have you approached them asking if anyone would like to take redundancy. (I'm not very clued up in this area but I think they receive a weeks wage for every year that they have worked, plus any unused holiday pay.) I could find out more details for you, if need be.


Another idea is to contact other settings in your area, to see if they have any staff shortages. Then maybe your staff could help out.


Is the low numbers just for this term? Do you have children starting next term?

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Sorry but I believe it is a legal requirement that you pay holiday pay, no way of getting out of it by reducing hours instead, you should still be paying holiday pay on the hours they do.


I know it is hard but everyone is entitled to it from the day they start working from you, no having to wait for it, and it has to be paid during the week it is taken, so not rolled up into their pay.


Have a look at these



holiday entitlement



Paying holiday pay



Acas - holiday pay



The only alternative is to do as we did which was have flexible hours which were reduced in September and increased over the year as needed.. not ideal but was our only way to be viable.. This is the first year it has not been necessary, and it was usually only for half a term..


or we had fixed term contracts with option to renew for busy times knowing we would not need them in September following year.



Edited by Inge
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I agree with Inge, what I did was have contracts that stated the staff were employed for between 16- 32 hours per week depending on register ratio requirements, hours to be adjusted as required each term.


However, if you are thinking of changing contracts get advice from ACAS, it is allowed but proper procedures need to be taken.


Redundancy pay is a right only after being employed for 2+ years, below this then no payment required, if employed for over 2 yrs then redundancy pay is one week per year worked, ie: with you for four years would be entitled to 4 yrs redundancy pay. Actually check this I'm not sure if it would be 2 or 4 wks pay, it's been a while since I paid it.


Sorry to hear your numbers are so low, I'm sure you are not the only one in this situation. :o Have you contacted your LA, they may have a sustainability fund you could claim on for the lean times until numbers increase.


good luck.


Finely, a Warm welcome to the forum.



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Ditto the replies ref. holiday pay all staff must legally have 5.6 weeks hol per year since april of this year pro rata'd if necessary.


We usually have lower numbers in September so staff contracts recognise this - I use the following statement so that I am not tied to giving anyone any particular hours until numbers can sustain the staff input.


Normal hours of work are XXX to XXXX. The setting is normally open Monday to Friday inclusive, during term time. Days of work will be agreed verbally with the pre-school owner and will be dependent on the number of children attending each session. Changes in normal hours of work will also be agreed verbally with the pre-school owner.


My staff team are v. reasonable and recognise that it is better to have some hours than no job at all

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we never had an issue with staff not available, and they often swapped around when hours came available if they needed to .


they all knew who was next to have more hours and in our case we could often plan ahead to give an idea of the days as well. but we were a small setting where everyone was able to swap providing ratios were met etc... and all were level 3 so it was not an issue with us..



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Similar situation to Inge - my staff understand the way the business works and know that we usually start of with less hours that build up through the year. I worry all the time but as an employer I have to accept that I can't have my cake and eat it either.

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Thank you for this,


I informed everyone of the changes in August - I used to pay holiday pay as an additional sum rolled up into the years salary, this I am now told is not the done thing.


But before I withdrew the additional holiday money - I did inform staff of this. I also had an individual appraisal meeting and discussing this but when the payroll went out in September - I had an avalanch of NOT FAIR.


I now have three members attending the setting but doing the absolute minimum, and constantly make a point WE ARE ONLY WORKING FOR THE MONEY PAID. (but not)


I haven't done anything wrong - informing everyone of the changes. BUT FEEL AWFUL. :o

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Hi babybeat


Do you mean you pay them AND give them the time off.


I don't believe that just because staff initially accepted these changes it was right for you to do this, however I do realise you will have to make cuts somewhere but not here. Staff are entitled to 5.6 weeks holiday paid per year.



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Hi Babybeat


Are you open all year or just during term time?


Either way you still have to pay your staff holiday pay but the calculations are a little different.


You can't "give them holiday time off" unpaid as you would be breaking employment law.

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Thinking aloud here....


I wonder if ....the wording of the post is unclear but


1) IF the setting is only open 38 weeks a year and


2) IF in the past holiday was paid for some of the weeks not previously worked...

(ie during school holidays and half terms)



But Now


Holidays are taken during term time as paid time off


this would work ... as they would be getting paid holiday but working less weeks in the year so in effect hours have been reduced by the same amount of paid holiday time...


But, my worry would be this is a change in contracted hours... is this possible without discussion etc..



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I see where you're coming from Inge


It is probably workable if you write to staff advising them how you are going to manage the increase in holiday pay entitlement that came into effect this April (assuming that you haven't already done so) as the new entitlement is a legal requirement that means you have to make some sort of change although I think you can only do this if staff are not worse off!

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Hello everyone,


My staff now get PAID /b] holiday time off. I used to pay them an additional amount for holiday however because my numbers are low, with consent I now give them time off instead.


However there are two in particular who are causing XXXXXX and trying to get others of board.



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Hi, Sorry Inge and Sue


I didn't read the last two posts, sorry.


We are open for 39 weeks per year of that staff work for 38 weeks (how is that I hear you say-the first week I carry out home visits) Staff are paid an additional week is paid as an additional for staff to complete observations and assessements of key children. (with a push)

39 weeks on a pro-rata basis

Depending on the number of session they do each week for example:


5 sessions per week X 24 sessions holiday

4 sessions per week X 19 sessions holiday

3 sessions per week X14 " "


The new deal allows staff to get paid holiday time off within the term time. So if they have a dentist appointment they can, use one of their holiday sessions.



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Well I for one would love to be able to have holiday termtime! For me this would be a deal-breaker for a job.


I do take time off, my owner/boss is understanding and allows it but it counts as unpaid leave because my holiday is 'paid' during the holidays.


Actually tecnically, reading this back this shouldn't really happen as holidays entitlement cannot be 'rolled-up' and should be paid when taken.......well I'm not complaining as it suits me!!!!



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I believe that any significant changes to working terms and conditions (and this is) need to be put in place after full consultation. If this has been done then they can whinge till the cows come home but if they accepted the change so be it. If it wasn't fully and properly consulted then you are in a vulnerable position.


Even Zero hour contracted bank staff are legally entitled to holiday pay. I have a large number of zero hour contracts- the staff work as and when needed throughout the year but as on a zero hour there is no obligation to provide set number of hours. Also bear in mind that if staff work a regular pattern for 13 weeks (? I think it's 13 weeks)- this then entitles them to this as a permanent contract- so be very careful with your flexible working. Holiday pay for zero hour staff is calculated by taking the average hours worked in a 12 week period so a canny employee will choose the busiest times to claim their entitlement and in reality yo should pay them every 12 weeks anyway.

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Have uploaded the business link page to help you calculate term time only workers holiday pay entitlement


Business Link Term Time Workers Holiday Pay


Hope it helps


This is the formula I use


(((Total Hours Worked for the Academic Year / 46.4 weeks**) x 5.6) x Hourly Rate)


**46.4 weeks is used to determine annual holiday entitlement as no holiday is taken during term time i.e., 52 weeks less 5.6 weeks holiday entitlement.

Edited by SueJ
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Yes this is the formula I use.


I had a consultation with everyone before the end of the year and renewal of the contract, and a letter detailing the conditions and a new contract detailing what we discussed. After all of that......


I think I just need to smile sweetly.


If I remember rightly this member of staff caused a fuss when I paid the holiday on a rolling programme inclusive in the wages - saying she wanted time off instead.


Ahh I cannot win!!!!! :o

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Looks as though you are doing everything by the book - perhaps this is more than just a pay and conditions issue - certainly you seem to have one individual who is not supporting the business.


It's hateful when you get a jobsworth especially in this climate when everyone is working hard to keep sustainable with all the changes that keep coming our way.


Best of luck to you - keep smiling sweetly and take every opportunity to remind all your staff that goodwill is a two way street and either everyone pulls together or everyone goes under - no nursery = no job at all!

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Hi there babybeat,


gosh, seems there are lots of changes and I do understand how difficult it is when your team all seem to be pounding you for the right answers.


i would strongly suggest that you contact ACAS for advice. If you go onto their website www.acas.org.uk there are a range of employment law docs that you can download and access for free - once you've got a list of questions, phone them and speak to an advisor - its all free, but very worthwhile!


Whatever you do, I would ask that you phone them and gain advice before speaking to the staff as you could end up with further problems if you don't prepare for difficult questions.


Best of luck, please let us know how you get on,



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  • 2 weeks later...

okay I have had a few staff taking off days during term time and are happy with this. It is difficult to organize this especially when they phone up and say I am taking a sick day as holiday.


I spoke to acas - wonderful site - thay said I could pay for 10 months then pay the remaining 2 months as holiday wage if I do not want to them to take the holiday during the term time.


I want a holiday

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