How does leave in days work?

Learn how Workforce calculates leave in days and what you can expect to see.

Updated over a week ago

How it works

Calculating leave in days

Leave is days calculations are based on UK government legislation (HMRC). The HMRC defines an employee's average working day as:

# hours worked per week ÷ # days worked per week

Of note, the statutory holiday entitlement is whatever is lower: 28 days OR 5.6 x # days worked per week.

For example:

Andrew works 4 days per week, with each day being 8 hours long. His statutory leave entitlement is the lower of either 28 days OR 5.6 x # of days worked.

So, 5.6 x 4 days per week is 22.4 days. Therefore, Andrew’s statutory leave entitlement is 22.4 days.

Set employee weekly days and hours

To manage leave in days accurately, you must set the Contracted Weekly Days and Contracted Weekly Hours within an individual employee's profile:

Important: If you do not set an employee's contracted days and hours, their leave balance will be calculated based on your Default leave hours per full day of leave found within Settings:

Leave requests

When a leave request is created for a leave type managed in days, the balance in days will be displayed.

The balance in days calculated by the employee's contracted weekly days is calculated. See here on how to configure.

The amount of hours for the request will also display, which is based on the number of hours an average working day is for the employee.

Once the leave request is approved, it will appear on the timesheet for that date/dates. The leave request will appear in form of a shift, which will display in hours. This is to show the number of hours that are considered a "day of work" for that employee:

Partial/part-day leave requests

Employees whose leave entitlement is in days can submit a leave request for a partial/part-day.

When creating or submitting a leave request, the Leave request summary will display the partial leave request length next to Paid Days. This amount will be in decimal form and is calculated via:

leave request length ÷ employee's average working day

(to learn more about how employee's average working day is calculated see here)

To edit the leave length, select View/Edit Daily Breakdown and then Update.

Once the leave request is approved, any updates made to the daily breakdown will show.

Note: there may be a delay in for updates to display. We recommend reloading the page.

The leave request will appear in form of a shift, which will display the length of the partial leave request in decimal.

Employee profile

Leave requests for leave types in days will appear in days:

You can also set an employee leave balance in days:


Leave in days will display on the Leave Balance Report:

Mobile app

Leave in days will display within the mobile app in the following locations:

  • Leave requests

  • Leave balances

  • Team Leave Planner

  • My Shifts

  • Edit History (managers)

How to set up a leave type in days

To set up a leave type in days, see our help guide below:


How are 'partial' or 'part-day' leave requests handled?

Employees whose leave entitlement is in days can submit a partial/part-day leave request. However, as per the advice from ACAS, how a partial day of leave is handled is between the employer and employee and agreed upon in advance.

Learn more about partial/part-day leave requests in Workforce here.

Can staff who are work irregular hours and accrue their leave entitlement in days?

The UK Government instructs that for employees who work irregular hours or have no fixed hours/days, their leave entitlement is accrued in hours and their pay reflects the average of 52 weeks (see UK government guidance).

Workforce is able to support calculating holiday over a 52 week period with our '52 Week Leave Averaging' feature. The 'leave in days' feature is purposely built to support staff who work regular hours or have fixed hours/days. We recommend staff who work irregular hours and accrue leave per hour worked Set up Leave in Hours.

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